Colette Celichowski ‘15 raced to a sixth-place finish—out of 412 runners—as the Carleton College women’s Cross Country was third at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota.
A total of 29 teams competed at this year’s meet with national No. 2 Wartburg College taking the top spot after accumulating 63 points, followed by nationally-ranked Bates College (103) and Carleton (118).
The Knights, listed No. 12 in the nation, bested a trio of ranked programs—No. 14 UW-La Crosse, No. 16 St. Olaf, No. 20 UW-Stevens Point—as well as two other squads that are receiving votes in the USTFCCCA’s national poll.
“It was a strong showing by a young team,” said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. “The future looks very promising. It is early in the season, and the most important thing that we can do right now is to pace ourselves in regards to training and staying healthy. I am impressed with this team and how they handled themselves in a big meet. They did a terrific job of getting off the line and settling into the pace that was right for them and implementing their race strategy.”
Celichowski, running collegiately at this meet for the first time, reached the finish line at 22:56.08, within 1.5 seconds of the top two Wartburg racers.
Ruth Steinke ‘16 and Winona Rachel ‘17 were the next two finishers, placing 15th and 25th overall with times of 23:39.13 and 24:01.93 respectively
Shira Kaufman ‘16 and Kazia Mermel ‘17 completed the scoring for Ricks’ squad, taking 33rd at 24:17.73 and 38th at 24:21.73.
Showcasing the team’s depth, Carleton joined Bates as the only programs to record seven top-50 finishes. Ahna Weels ‘15 and Laura Nakasaka ‘17 accomplished that feat as they were 41st and 50th across the line.
“I am so impressed with just after three weeks of training how this team performed. We have a great blend of first-years and returners. They are working together well,” said Ricks.