Three Tigers qualify for NCAA Division III cross country championship

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Three Tigers will be competing in the NCAA Division III cross country championship following the Great Lakes Regional Saturday.  

Senior Claudia Monnett and  Polo Burguete earned automatic bids based off of their top-ten performances. Sophomore Zach Batt also earned a spot at the championship with his performance.

The women’s team placed seventh overall at the meet, collecting 194 points. The Tigers were paced by senior Claudia Monnett, as she completed the course in 21:50.9, earning seventh place and advancing to Saturday’s NCAA Division III Championships. This will be her second straight appearance in the championships.

The men’s team finished eighth overall, totaling 250 points. Burguete and Batt finished in the top-ten, with Burguete crossing at 24:55.0 to place fifth, and Batt crossing at 25:03.4 to place tenth.

Despite his personal performance, Burguete thought the men’s team struggled.“I have mixed emotions about our performance as a team at Regionals,” Burguete said. “It was exciting to finish the season and we had two individuals qualify for nationals, which is all good, but we did not have a strong performance as a team.” The men’s team underperformed having been ranked sixth in the region heading into the meet.

“Nothing is guaranteed in cross country and the miles ran and work done isn’t always enough if you can’t show up on the big stage,” said junior Josse Smith.

Sophomore Paul Christian crossed at 25:31.3 to place 28th overall, earning the title of an all-region performer, along with Burguete and Batt. Junior Pierce Sheehan followed in 86th, crossing at 26:36.4, and junior Nick Meszaros in 121st, finishing at 27.08.2.

First-year Pierce Sheehan speaks about the progress of the team this season. “I’m really proud of how we ran as a team all year and I think this season was a real turning point for the program as a whole,” said Sheehan. “We beat Wabash for the first time in a decade at Conference and raced well at competitive meets earlier in the year, beating or coming close to 4-5 teams that will be toeing the line at Nationals.”

Calvin was awarded the men’s team title with 63 points, with Allegheny College following in second at 116 and Ohio Northern in third at 121. Allegheny’s Dan Cheung placed first in the meet with a time of 24.44.4.

Monnett believes she can build off of her national appearance last season. “Last year nationals caught me off-guard,” Monnett said. “There were so many fast girls, it was almost impossible to move up in the race. Now I know I have to get out fast if I want to place well.”

Senior Emma MacAnally finished 30th with a time of 22:51, collecting herself all-region honors. Senior Lois Miller stayed close behind in 38th at 23:00.9. Senior Becca Conley covered the course in 23:08.2, earning 48th, while senior Kendall Weinert collected 72nd in 23.42.1.

I ran a large portion of the race right next to Emma MacAnally and Becca Conley, and we kept pushing each other the whole time,” Miller said. “It was really inspiring to run my last race with those two seniors who I have been teammates and friends with since day one at DePauw.”

Sophomore Sarah Selzer finished at 78th with a time of 23.46.6, and sophomore Gabby Coffing crossed at 24:31.2, placing 125th.

Calvin came in first for the team total with 90 points, with Allegheny placing second totaling 120 points and Hope in third with 128 points. Hope’s Erin Herrmann placed first in the meet with a time of 21:10.9.

I’m proud of our team and the ability for us to come together and run a great race for Regionals,” said Conley. “It’s amazing that Claudia qualified for Nationals for the second year in a row, and I’m proud of Polo and Zach for qualifying as well. We’re taking two fifteen-passenger vans down to go see them race, so they will have a lot of people cheering for them come Saturday!”