Senior Claudia Monnett placed 50th at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
The Championship took place this past weekend in Louisville, Kentucky with three Tigers competing; junior Polo Burguete, sophomore Zach Batt, and Monnett.
Burguete finished the 8,000-meter race in 25:12.7, placing 63rd, with Batt placing 177th in 25:52.0. Both Burguete and Batt held a solid pace, as Burguete was 21st after 2,000 meters, and Batt was 34th. Wisconsin-Platteville's Ian LeMere was the individual winner in 23:40.4.
“It was a challenging course, due to the weather, and extremely challenging competition; I had never been in a meet with so much depth,” Burguete said. “The fall has gone by in a blur and I couldn’t be happier with this season. Running at nationals was the icing on the cake, and I’m hopeful to get another opportunity to run at the NCAAs again, except next time with the rest of the team.”
On the other hand, Batt was initially disappointed with his race. “A combination of nerves and an aggressive race strategy ended with me struggling through the last few miles of the race,”Batt said. “I had worked extremely hard to make it to the national championship and to have a sub-par performance was upsetting, especially in front of the entire team.”
However, Batt is appreciative of the experience and believes he can build off of his work this season to work towards track and field in the spring. “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am thankful for my chance to race at the national level,” Batt said. “I know I achieved a lot just by qualifying for the meet and I am very proud of myself for accomplishing that goal. I have some big goals to work towards in the upcoming track season.”
Claudia Monnett placed 50th at the Championships, completing the 6,000-meter course with a time of 21:37.0. Monnett kept a strong pace as well, as she was in 30th place through the first 4.18 kilometers.
“This is the best team I've been able to be a part of and I'm so proud everyone for their accomplishments this season,” said Monnett. “The end of my cross country career has been bittersweet but I'm happy to be leaving the program in good hands.”
However, her time as an athlete isn't over yet, as Monnett looks ahead towards the spring. “Indoor track season starts in a few months and I'm really excited to see what we can do,”Monnett said. “I think the women's distance team will be very strong this year, and we'll be able to pull together a great distance medley relay.”
Monnett significantly improved since last year, as she placed 102nd at the 2015 Championships. Stevens Institute’s Amy Regan crossed first with a time of 20:16.14.