TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - MIT women's cross country, ranked first in the country for the fifth week in succession, wrapped up the 2012 season with a sixth place finish at the NCAA Division III championship on Saturday afternoon. With 291 points, the Engineers finished behind the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with 272 points and narrowly ahead of St. Lawrence with 297. Rival Williams came in fourth place with 266 points.
Going into the race on Saturday the team appeared more ready and relaxed than any team in memory, according to Halston Taylor, the director and head coach of the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams. "I would have bet anything that this team was ready to take care of business," he said.
Senior Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.), who was named Athlete of the Year at last month's NEWMAC tournament, crossed the line first for the Engineers in 36th place with a time of 22:03.7. Sophomore Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) finished a few seconds later in 39th place with a 22:06.5.
Freshman Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.) came in 79th with a time of 22:35.4, completing the course just two tenths before a Colby runner. She was followed less than ten seconds later by junior Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) in 22:44.2 in 93rd position. Junior Kaitlin Allen (Bedford, N.H.) closed out the scoring for MIT in 184th place at 23:20.4. Fellow jnior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) was 234th in 23:51.9.
Coach Taylor said that this was the best season in MIT cross country history and that the hopes of a national title in the near future remain very high.