Pioneer Women Earn Best-Ever Finish at New England Championship

Full New England Championship Results

WESTFIELD, MA (October 7, 2012) - The Sacred Heart women's cross country team had three runners earn All-New England honors to lead the Pioneers to a program best fourth place finish at the100th running of the New England Championship Sunday afternoon.  SHU finished fourth thanks to top-30 finishes by junior Brianna Castrogivanni (Commack, NY) and seniors Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT) and Michelle Navarro (Piscataway, NJ), earning the trio All-New England recognition.

"I told the women in a team meeting on Friday that they could score around 200 points and finish seventh or eighth if they ran real well," commented head coach Christian Morrison.  "They more than exceeded my predictions on both counts."

"I told them after the race that this was a historic day for our program.  It's so rare in cross country to have a whole team run exceptionally well on the same day, but that happened here with our top five, and many other members of our team.  It's a rare thing, but so very beautiful when it happens.  It'd be difficult for an outside observer to grasp the aesthetics of such a team performance, but in my view this performance was a work of art."

The Pioneers previous best finish at the annual race came in 2005 when they took ninth place.  SHU finished last season 11th overall.  

Castrogivanni and Selmquist both finished in the top-15 in the 251 runner field, taking ninth and 11th, respectively.  The only Pioneer runner in women's program history to finish higher at the New England race was Kim DeLoreto who took fifth in the 2009 running.  Former Pioneer Katie Wrinkle was next in line with a 12th place showing in 2003.

In 2011 Castrogivanni placed 34th n the JV race at New England's.  Her ninth place time of 17:41.73 beat her old personal best of 18:36.8 by 55 seconds and  moves her into second on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC behind only DeLoreto.

Selmquist turned in a time of 17:41.73 to take home a top-10 finish.  Selmquist was right on her heels with a time of 17:43.53 for 11th.  She improved 96 places upon her 107th place varsity race finish in 2011.  Her 11th place time of 17:43.53 beat her old personal best of 18:27 by more than 43 seconds.  It's a best which she set just two weeks ago while winning the Fairfield Invitational.  Her time moves her into third on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC behind only DeLoreto and Castrogivanni.

Navaro took home a 29th place finish at this year's race, clocking in at 18:06.58.  All three runners earn All-New England honors for the first time in their career.  In 2011 Navarro placed 36th  in the JV race at New England's.  Her 29th place time in this year's varsity race of 18:06.33 beat her old personal best of 18:53.8 by more than 47 seconds.  Her time moves her into seventh on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC.

Placing in 50th, sophomore Emma Bolduc (Peterborough, NH) improved 75 places upon her 125th place varsity race finish in 2011.  Her time of 18:24.37 beat her old personal best of 19:12 by more than 47 seconds.   Her time moves her into 10th on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC.

Sophomore Elizabeth Hutchins (Pawctuck, CT) rounded out the top-five with her 76th place finish.  In 2011 she placed 102nd in the JV race at New England's.  Her time of 18:40.57 beat her old personal best of 19:41 by a full minute.  Her time moves her into 14th on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC.

Senior Brittany Llobell (West Sayville, NY) and junior Teresa Gagliostro (Township of Washington, NJ) recorded seasonal bests to round out the varsity performances, and altogether 12 SHU women broke the 20 minute barrier between the JV and varsity races.  The composite average time of the top-five was 18:07.31, which is a program best.  The previous best of 18:24.02 was set in the UAlbany Invitational in 2009. 

Boston College won the 2012 New England team title, topping Vermont and Dartmouth in second and third.

Sacred Heart returns to action on Saturday when they run in the Princeton University Invitational.
All-Time List of All-New England Performances – Women (year, name, place)

2003, Katherine Wrinkle, 12th

2005, Kathleen Duffy, 30th

2006, Kathleen Henry, 20th

2007, Dana Troy, 14th

2007, Kimberly DeLoreto, 22nd  

2009, Kimberly DeLoreto, 5th  

2009, Sarah Tencza, 21st

2010, Kimberly DeLoreto, 22nd

2011, Brittany Heninger, 13th

2011, Brittney Lane, 14th

2012, Brianna Castrogivanni, 9th

2012, Alyssa Selmquist, 11th

2012, Michelle Navarro, 29th

 

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