HANOVER, Ind. - Racing against the best runners in the country, the No. 8 MIT women's cross country team finished in fifth place with 261 points at the 2013 NCAA Division III Championships at Hanover College on Saturday afternoon. Junior Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) was Tech's highest finisher, coming in 18th place on the 6k course with a time of 21:47.6, moving up 20 places from last year and coming in just a second ahead of Danielle Kennedy of Oneonta.
MIT improved on its sixth place finish at last season's Championships with 291 points. Defending champion Johns Hopkins claimed the title with 85 points, No. 2 Williams was second with 137, No. 4 Middlebury came in third with 185 points and the University of Chicago were fourth with 261.
McVay is the second highest placing Engineer at NCAAs in program history, after Maria Monks, who came in 13th place at the 2009 national championships. McVay ran her first mile in 5:51 and reached the 2k mark at 7:05. Her 3k was a 10:41 and she reached the 2.9 mile mark at 16:50. She earned All-America honors for the second time in her career.
Next to complete the race for the Engineers was classmate Kali Benavides (Miami, Fla.), who was competing at NCAAs for the first time, coming in 53rd place with a time of 22:14.3. Senior Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) came in 87th in 22:33.7 and was followed soon after by graduate student Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.) in 94th with a 22:35.7. Senior Kaitlin Allen (Bedford, N.H.) came in 102nd place in a 22:38.9.
In her first national's appearance, freshman Christina Wicker (Oak Harbor, Wash.) came in 130th with a time of 22:48.1. Closing out the MIT runners was senior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.), who finished in 195th place out of 275 runners with her time of 23:19.2.