Nov. 21, 2011
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Led by All-American seniors Deborah Maier and Chelsea Reilly, the Cal women's cross country team finished 18th at the NCAA Championships Monday - the Golden Bears' highest showing since they were ninth 23 years ago.
Maier placed 11th overall, covering the 6000 meters on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in 19:53.3, to claim her second All-America certificate after taking 30th a year ago when she competed as an individual. Her 11th-place showing matched Kirsten O'Hara's 1987 result best-ever performance for a Cal runner at the national meet.
Reilly, who was making her first appearance at the NCAA Championships, ended the day in 24th with a time of 20:11.2. No Cal runner had finished among the top 25 since Sabrina Han was 21st in 1990, but the Bears had two on the afternoon.
"Today was a great finish to a great season for the ladies." head coach Tony Sandoval said. "Having two All-Americans in the top 25 was special. I can't recall a women race at the NCAA's that was so fast from start to finish. Deborah was with a tight pack of runners with 400 meters to go, and it was sprint to the line. She ran her fastest cross country race ever! Chelsea came on the last 1000 meters to earn All-America status with a career-best time and performance. The team ran tough on a very difficult course. This was a breakout season and lays the foundation for the future."
Maier raced with the leaders from the start and was in third place at the 3000-meter meter mark. She then briefly took the lead about three-fourths of the way through the race, before finishing 11th. Sheila Reid of Villanova captured her second individual title in 19:41.2, followed by Oregon's Jordan Hasay in 19:41.8.
In addition to Maier and Reilly, Taylor Bryson, Taylor Dutch and Kelsey Santisteban all crossed the line within 14 seconds of each other. Bryson was 159th overall in 21:25.6, a marked improvement from NCAA West Regionals when she was timed in 22:06. Taylor Dutch was next for the Bears in 176th in 21:38.0 and Santisteban rounded out Cal's scorers in 179th in 21:39.8. Elisa Karhu (197th, 21:49.9) and Keena Kohl (228th, 22:11.4) completed the Bears' lineup.
In the closest race ever, Georgetown claimed the team title with 162 points, followed by Washington (170) and Villanova (181). Other Pac-12 schools at the meet were Oregon (5th), Stanford (10th), Colorado (11th), Arizona (19th) and Arizona State (31st).
NCAA Women's Cross Country Championships
Team Standings: 1. Georgetown 162; 2. Washington 170; 3. Villanova 181; 4. Florida State 189; 5. Oregon 281; 6. Vanderbilt 282; 7. Iowa State 290; 8. West Virginia 297; 9. New Mexico 322; 10. Stanford 332; 11. Colorado 335; 12. Boston College 347; 13. Penn State 368; 14. Arkansas 375; 15. Michigan 383; 16. Michigan State 386; 17. Syracuse 401; 18. California 433; 19. Arizona 447; 20. Virginia 466; 21. Toledo 483; 22. Notre Dame 512; 23. North Carolina State 518; 24. Wisconsin 529; 25. San Francisco 531; 26. Texas 559; 27. Minnesota 577; 28. BYU 636; 29. Weber State 647; 30. Oklahoma State 701; 31. Arizona State 752.
Place TmPl Name Time 11 8 Deborah Maier 19:53.3 24 17 Chelsea Reilly 20:11.2 159 125 Taylor Bryson 21:25.6 176 140 Taylor Dutch 21:38.0 179 143 Kelsey Santisteban 21:39.8 197 161 Elisa Karhu 21:49.9 228 192 Keena Kohl 22:11.4