FAIRFIELD, CT (September 22, 2012) - The Sacred Heart women's cross country team dominated a six-team field at the 36th Annual Fairfield University Victor F. Leeber Invitational, placing six runners in the top-10 on the way to their ninth-straight team title at the event. The victory for the Pioneers was their 14th in the last 16 years at the annual Fairfield U event.
"The women performed very well today, with many seasonal and personal bests on a tough course," stated head coach Christrian Morrison. "I think they have a chance to be one of our best teams ever by the end of the season."
Leading the way to victory for SHU was senior Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT) who won the individual title, her first career win during cross country season. Selmquist's victory also marked the 10th time the Pioneers have had a runner win the event. She clocked in at 18:27, running a personal best by 27 seconds. Selmquist topped the time of 18:54 that she turned in at the Bryant Invitationa two weeks ago.
"Alyssa's victory in this race is a testament to her hard, consistent work and dedication over the past three years plus," commented Morrison. "Her improvement in college has been remarkable. I'm amazed at how fast she ran today on a course that is not known for fast times. I'm very proud of her and happy for her."
Selmquist improved upon her 10th place finish at last year's Fairfield race (19:46), improving by a time of 1:19 while also toping last season winning time of 18:41 (Brittney Lane - 18:41) by 14 seconds.
The Pioneers bested the field thanks to Selmquist and teammates, junior Brianna Castrogivanni (Commack, NY), senior Michelle Navarro (Piscataway, NJ), sophomore Emma Bolduc (Peterborough, NH), sophomore Elizabeth Hutchins (Pawcatuck, CT) and senior Brittany Llobell (West Sayville, NY) who all crossed the tape in the top-10.
Castrogivanni recorded her second career top-five finish, taking second place behind Selmquist in a time of 18:48. She improved upon her 35th place finish last year in 20:36. Navarro and Bolduc picked up their first career top-five finishes, taking foruth and fifth, respectively.
Navarro finished in a time of 19:07, improving upon her 24th place in 20:21 last year. Bolduc recorded a new personal best in the race, clocking in at 19:12. Bolduc finished 12th (19:59) in last season's race.
Hutchins rounded out the SHU top-five with a personal best, finishing ninth in a time of 19:41. She improved nine spots and 32 seconds from her finish in 2011 (17th in 20:13). Llobell placed in the top-10 for the second straight year taking ninth with a time of 19:45. She finished seventh at last year's race.
The Pioneer men's and women's team are back in action on October 7th when they compete in the 100th running of the New England Championship in Westfield, MA.