Women's cross country finishes 17th at nationals

HANOVER, Ind. - The Haverford College women's cross country team placed 17th at the 2013 Division III Cross Country Championship hosted by Hanover College on Saturday.

The Fords ran in the national meet as one of 16 at-large selections to the field but there was no doubt they belonged as Haverford registered its second consecutive top-20 national finish and seventh in program history.

Johns Hopkins University claimed its second straight national title with 85 points while Williams College (137) and Middlebury College (185) finished in second and third, respectively.

Capping her collegiate career with a standout performance, Emily Scott, who ran at nationals every year of her career, paced the Haverford effort as she finished 54th in 22 minutes, 14.8 seconds. The senior's effort was almost identical to her season-best performance (22:14) at the Mideast Regional on Nov. 16 and accounted for the best finish at the national meet of her career. Scott's highest finish previously was 196th (23:26.7) in 2012.

Running at the national meet for the second straight year, sophomore Nora Weathers gave the Fords two finishers in the top 100 of the field of 280 runners as she crossed the line in 22:24.2 to finish 72nd.

Kelley Riffenburgh was Haverford's third scorer (133rd, 22:48.8) while junior Charlotte Lellman and sophomore Maggie Heffernan rounded out the Fords' scoring places in 160th (22:59.6) and 161st (23:00.1), respectively.

Senior Chelsea Thorsheim (173rd) and freshman Clarice Bourland (230th) also participated in Saturday's six-kilometer championship race.

The Centennial Conference demonstrated that it is one of the most competitive leagues in the country as Dickinson College placed 15th with 393 points to join the Blue Jays and the Fords, who accumulated 425 points, in the top 20. Marywood University had edged Haverford for third place at regionals a week ago but the Pacers were no match for the Fords on Saturday as they finished in 24th place (578 points).

Senior Chelsea Johnson from the College of St. Scholastica captured the individual title in 21:11.7.