Saints finish in 31st place; de Tassigny 41st at NCAA National Championship

Saints finish in 31st place; de Tassigny 41st at NCAA National Championship

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Flagler College finished in 31st place with 701 points at the NCAA Division II Women's Cross Country Championship on a cold and rainy Saturday at Schenley Park.

"In conditions like these, pretty much anything can happen," said head coach Brian Beil. "My first reaction was just to be happy we made it through without anyone hitting the deck more than once or twice. Runners were dropping like flies all over the course. In terms of conditions, it was right up there with Louisville in 2014 (cold and snow)."

Heloise Duffie de Tassigny, the PBC Runner of the Year and All-Southeast Region honoree, finished in 41st place with a time of 23:34.1 over the 6K course. She fell one second shy of earning All-America honors. The top 40 runners earn All-America accolades. Duffie de Tassigny was the second-fastest runner from the Southeast Region.

"Heloise ran one heck of a race considering she has been dealing with a couple of injuries the whole second half of the season," added Beil. "I am gutted for her that she just missed earning All-America honors by one place. Finishing 41st in the country is no small feat and she should be extremely proud of the season she put together."  

Winning the individual title was Sarah Berger from Grand Valley State University. She led the 264-woman field with a time of 22:07.7. Eilish Flanagan of Adams State College finished second at 22:12.4. Emily Roberts (22:15.5) from the University of Mary, Alicja Konieczek (22:30.4) from Western Colorado University, and Allie Ludge (22:39.7) from Grand Valley State rounded out the top five.

Lauren Penkala finished in 88th place with a time of 24:19.4. Stephany Sislava crossed the finish line at 26:09.2, which was good for a 220th place finish. Jessie Mescal (26:16.0) finished in 225th place. Allison Horwitch (26:19.6), Malia Cryan (27:16.4), and Kayla McManama (27:31.2) rounded out the runners for Flagler.

"Lauren put her nose in the fight today just like we planned," said Beil. "Her legs just were not as sharp today as we would have liked, but still a top 100 in the nation completed one heck of a senior campaign.

"This wasn't our best day of racing, but they all ran hard and represented our program well," added Beil. "They should be proud of the record breaking season they had."

The last time Flagler participated in the NCAA Division II National Championships, the Saints finished in 32nd place out of 32 teams. That was in 2013 at Spokane, Washington.
 
Team results: 1) Grand Valley State 41; 2) Mary 83; 3) Adams State 90; 4) Western Colorado 98; 5) Colorado Mines 252; 6) Alaska Anchorage 255; 7) Michigan Tech 288; 8) Chico State 300; 9) Simon Fraser 342; 10) Queens (N.C.) 418; 11) Colorado-Colorado Springs 436; 12) Walsh 445; 13) Pittsburg State 449; 14) Stonehill 449; 15) Seattle Pacific 466; 16) Oklahoma Baptist 484; 17) Black Hills State 485; 18) Augustana (S.D.) 503; 19) Hillsdale 511; 20) Western Washington 525; 21) Roberts Wesleyan 532; 22) MSU Denver 585; 23) Edinboro 589; 24) Dallas Baptist 623; 25) Point Loma Nazarene 642; 26) California (Pa.) 651; 27) Merrimack 668; 28) Shippensburg 670; 29) Lee 674; 30) Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 677; 31) Flagler 701; 32) Southwest Baptist 731; 33) Anderson (S.C.) 749; 34) Union (Tenn.) 1117.
                                           
Top 10 finishers: 1) Sarah Berger (GVSU) 22:07.7; 2) Eilish Flanagan (ASC) 22:124; 3) Emily Roberts (UM) 22:15.5; 4) Alicja Konieczek (WCU) 22:30.4; 5) Allie Ludge (GVSU) 22:39.7; 6) Hanna Groeber (GVSU) 22:40.6; 7) Leah Hanle (UMO) 22:50.8; 8) Kayla Wooten (UCCS) 22:51.2; 9) Gina Patterson (GVSU) 22:53.3; 10) Eileen Stressling (APU) 22:54.4.
 
Flagler members: 41) Duffie de Tassigny 23:34.1; 88) Penkala 24:19.4; 220) Sislava 26:09.2; 225) Mescal 26:16.0; 229) Horwitch 26:19.6; 248) Cryan 27:16.4; 253) McManama 27:31.2.