Calvin Women's Cross Country Team Takes Ninth at NCAA III Championships Behind Third Place Finish by Vince
Provided by Calvin
KINGS ISLAND, OH - The Calvin women's cross country team posted its second consecutive top-10 national finish, placing ninth at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships with a team score of 280 points.
Sophomore Cassie Vince (Amherst, OH/Amherst HS) led the charge by finishing third individually with a time of 21:30. The finish by Vince is the second-best in MIAA women's cross country history at the national finals, surpassed only by Calvin's Renea Bluekamp who won the 1993 individual national title in Grinnell, Iowa.
With the third place finish, Vince claims NCAA III All-America honors for the second straight year. She finished 23rd at the 2013 NCAA III Championships.
Vince ran with a small pack of runners through the first half of the race and then moved into third place over the final mile-and-a-half. She finished seven seconds ahead of Carleton's Ruth Steinke and 32 seconds behind Lucy Cheadle of Washington University. Amy Regan of Stevens Institute won the individual national title in a time of 20:51.
Sophomore Lauren Strohbehn (Stillwater, MN/St. Croix Prepatory HS) was the second finisher for Calvin, placing 51st in a time of 22:45. Strohbehn made a bid for an All-America (Top 35) finish as she was 24th with a mile to go but fell just off the pace over the final stretch.
Senior Kimby Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) also finished in the top 100, placing 99th in a time of 23:13 while senior Sarah Danner (Watkins Glen, NY/Charles Dickerson HS) was 101st in 23:14.
Rounding out Calvin's finishers were senior Kate Ardinger (Elmhurst, IL/Timothy Christian HS) in 119th (23:23), senior Paige McGahan 123rd (23:26) and junior McKenzie Diemer (Caledonia/South Christian HS) in 216th (24:10).
"We got off to a tough start," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "There was a real bottleneck about 400 meters into the race and we got out too slow. Once we were pushed to the back, we had to fight too hard to make up the difference because of how narrow the course was in the first mile. Cassie Vince ran a great race. She was patient and made her move at the right moment. Lauren Strohbehn also made a push for an All-America spot. She just couldn't sustain it over the final thousand meters or so. We had a real good year as a team. We just wish we could have done a few things differently at the start of this race."
Johns Hopkins defended its national title, winning with a score of 87 points with MIT second with 112 points.
Calvin has now posted 18 top-10 national team finishes in women's cross country.