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Varsity Athletics

Women's Cross Country

Carleton Athletics

Schedule and Results

Result: 1st of 27 teams / Steinke 1st, Celichowski 4th, Donovan 10th

Women's Cross Country at NCAA Central Regional Championships

Saturday, November 15th, 2014 – 12:00 p.m. at Pella, Iowa - Central College

Knights Win Central Region Championships, Secure Bid to Nationals

Central Region Champions
Central Region Champions!
Photo: courtesy Central College sports information


PELLA, Iowa — The Carleton College women’s cross country team has been ranked first in the region all season long, and the Knights lived up to that billing as they posted the team victory at the NCAA Central Regional Championships. That result guarantees the Knights a return trip to next weekend’s NCAA National Championships.

“This has been an amazing season,” said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. “To perform at such a high level, meet after meet has been impressive. It has been stellar; no doubt about it. Looking at where these athletes have come from in their programs, and the runners they developed into in a short period of time is incredible and says a lot to their hard work. They are just so mentally tough.”

Carleton, which entered the weekend ranked No. 13 in the nation, finished with 60 points in Saturday’s team competition. No. 15 St. Olaf grabbed the region’s other automatic bid to nationals by placing second with 81 points. No. 22 St. Thomas was next at 127, while Iowa Conference teams Wartburg (173) and Luther (176) rounded out the top five.

Not only did Carleton win the regional meet for the first time since 2009, but junior Ruth Steinke (Lima, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) followed up her individual title at the MIAC Championships with a first-place finish at regionals. She posted a nine-second margin of victory, finishing in 21:16.0.

“At 4K mark, I knew that Ruth was determined that this was going to be her race,” said Ricks. “She was running with purpose and focus.”

Carleton had two other top-10 finishers. Senior Colette Celichowski (Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka) placed fourth out of 189 runners at the meet, recording a time of 21:41.0. Sally Donovan (Jr./Minneapolis, Minn./South) finished 10th with a time of 22:14.0

“I’m really proud of Colette,” Ricks said. “At times, she’s felt that the region meet has been a little challenging for her. As a senior, she went out there and put it out there on the line and did great job. Sally Donovan just stepped it up and had a tremendous race.”

Carleton’s fourth and fifth scorers also earned All-Region status. Nicole Nipper (So./Minnetonka, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) placed 16th at 22:24.7, and Lindsey Chavez (Fy./Westminster, Colo.) placed 29th with a time of 22:44.6.

Dorrian Jaffe (Fy./Columbus, Ohio) finished in 36th place, missing All-Region status—which is bestowed on the top 35 finishers—by 0.6 seconds. She recorded a time of 22:51.7. Winona Rachel (So./Shakopee, Minn./ Shakopee) was right behind her, placing 39th at 22:55.5.

 “Once again the team ran an incredibly smart race strategy from the get go,” Ricks said. “They focused on what they needed to do and went out at their pace. These women are mentally strong, and they are running confident. I’m just so proud of them.”

The NCAA Championships will be contested at 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Mason, Ohio.