Women's Cross Country Earns Automatic Berth to NCAAs

WESTFIELD, Mass. – Coming off their sixth consecutive win at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship a few weeks ago, the MIT women's cross country team came first at the New England Division III Regional Championship. The Engineers placed four runners in the top 12 of the 6k course, with sophomore Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) crossing the line first for MIT in fifth place overall with a time of 21:43.53. This win earned MIT an automatic bid to next Saturday's NCAA championship.

Following close behind McVay were senior Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.) in eighth, freshman Nicole Zeinstra (Holland, Mich.) in 10th and junior Kaitlin Allen (Bedford, N.H.) in 12th, all finishing within 20 seconds of each other. Junior Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) also earned All-New England honors by placing 23rd with a time of 22:13.98.

NEWMAC Rookie of the Year Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.) finished with a time of 22:21.15 and junior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) rounded out the MIT runners in 45th place with a time of 22:42.29.

MIT finished with 58 points, followed by rival Williams with 75 points and Middlebury with 89. Bates came in fourth place with 145 points and Amherst was fifth with 190. Both MIT and Williams received automatic berths to NCAAs, while the other three are strong contenders to receive invitations.

The Engineers will head to Terre Haute, Ind. next week in hopes of improving on last year's fifth place finish. In the past four years, the women's team has had four top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championship, finishing 10th in 2008, fifth in 2009, third in 2010 and the fifth in 2011.