(The Bronx, NY) - Kimberly Deloreto (Hillsdale, NJ) won the 26th ECAC Cross Country Championship University Division race at Van Courtlandt Park in the Bronx, NY on Saturday morning. Deloreto paced the 209-runner pack with a time of 18:01.6, almost nine seconds faster than her next closest competitor.
DeLoreto also earned "All-East" honors by virtue of her top-25 finish in the race. She has now earned "All-New England," "All-NEC," and "All-East" honors in the same season for the third time in her career. She also completed this hat trick in 2007 and 2009. She redshirted in 2008, but will return as a graduate student next fall to try for an unprecedented fourth time. Three other SHU athletes (Katie Wrinkle in 2003, Katie Duffy in 2005, and Kathleen Henry in 2006) have earned "All-New England," "All-NEC," and "All-East" honors in the same season, but DeLoreto is the only one to accomplish this feat more than once.
The victory is the fourth of the senior runner's career, and her ninth career top-five finish. With Deloreto leading the way, the Pioneer Women's Cross Country team finished seventh out of 23 teams with 219 points. Also finishing in the top seven for SHU was Brittney Lane (Greenwich, NY) - 19:15.8, Michelle Navarro (Piscataway, NJ) - 19:39.4, Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT) - 19:49.8 Brianna Castrogivanni (Commack, NY) - 19:52.0, Samantha Troy (Lebanon, CT) - 20:06.5, and Mekenzie Krause – (Bennington, VT) - 20:33.2.
"Kim has been under the weather lately, and had to sit out of the NCAA Regionals last weekend. We actually came very close to sitting her out today, as well," said head coach Christian Morrison. "Once the decision was made to have her run, I didn't know what to expect. Then the gun went off, and she actually started to feel really good as the race progressed. The end result was her best performance of the season, and an ECAC Championship. She's so deserving of this. I am very happy for her."
The Pioneer Men's Cross Country team also placed seventh in the 102nd IC4A University Division race, the highest finish in program history at Van Courtlandt Park. Brendan Rickert (Danbury, CT) led the way with a 14th place finish and a time of 26:06.8. Also finishing in the top seven for the men were Jeffrey Lusignan (East Montpelier, VT) in 23rd place - 26:28.1, Daniel Koehler (Red Hook, NY) - 26:53.0, Richard Marcello (Foster, RI) - 27:00.5, Stephen Benoit (Wethersfield, CT) - 27:14.5, Colin Seidl (Cochecton, NY) - 27:34.4, and John Ahern (Islip Terrace, NY) - 29:32.3.
Rickert and Lusignan also earned "All-East" honors for their top 25 finishes. Lusignan becomes the first man in program history to earn "All-NEC," and "All-East" honors in the same season. This is also the first-time ever that two SHU men earn "All-East" honors in the same season. Rickert finishes his career by recording the highest individual finish in men's program history (supplanting Matthew Uzenski's 18th place finish in the 2003 race), also improving upon his own school record for the difficult Van Cortlandt Park 5 mile course.
"It's very gratifying to see Brendan earn All-East honors in his final collegiate race," said Morrison. "After having to redshirt last year, he enrolled in grad school this fall just so he could use this season of eligibility. He was an unheralded recruit coming in, and now his long 4 ½ year journey has culminated in his earning this honor and recording our best individual finish ever in the IC4A meet."