Oct. 14, 2011
STATE COLLEGE, Penn. - UConn women's cross country competed in the Penn State Nationals on a rainy and muddy Friday afternoon where sophomore Lauren Sara led the Huskies to a second place finish. The Huskies captured second place out of 29 teams and beat out two nationally ranked opponents.
Connecticut tallied 70 points on Friday to come behind No. 19 West Virginia who finished with 45 points and the top two racers. UConn came ahead of the hosting No. 20 Penn State who finished third and No. 26 Duke who came in fourth.
"Today was a very big step forward for our program. We beat two renowned cross country programs who race at the National Championships year in and year out, so to be able to go toe to toe with them and come out on top feels great," stated Head Coach Andrea Grove-McDonough. "But make no mistake. We are not satisfied nor are we kidding ourselves that our hard work is done. With the BIG EAST and the NCAA Northeast Region Championships ahead of us - still the most important part of our season - we need to stay hungry and keep focused."
Sara continued to be the leader of the Huskies as she clocked a 20:55 in the 6K with a third overall finish out of nearly 300 runners. Sara has been the top UConn finisher in her three meets during the 2011 campaign.
The Huskies completed the afternoon with four Top 20 finishers as freshman Lindsay Crevoiserat, Shauna McNiff and Heather Wilson joined Sara.
Crevoiserat concluded the day with a 10th place finish in 5:49, while McNiff and Wilson were the 15th (21:52) and 18th (22:01) racers to cross the finish line, respectively.
UConn's final three competitors wrapped up the Top 30 runners of the Penn State Nationals as junior Brigitte Mania came in 24th with a time of 22:14, sophomore Allison Lasnicki finished 28th in 22:21 and senior Courtney Dinnan took 29th with a time of 22:21.
"The team really ran great - all the way across the board. If you look closely at the results, we are by far the deepest team. We really ran as a team today and that made the difference. We had some great leadership from Shauna and Heather on the course. Lauren ran a tough and gutsy race against two All-Americans and everyone else made big strides to close gaps. Our hard work is beginning to pay off and I couldn't have been more proud of them," finished Grove-McDonough.
Grove-McDonough will rest her top nine next week as the squad competes in the CCSU Mini Meet on Friday, October 21. The Huskies will look to continue their dominant performances on Saturday, October 29 at the BIG EAST Championships in Louisville, Ky.
For the 2011 Penn State National results click here!