(Carlisle, Pa.) – The Dickinson women's cross country team has earned an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA National Championships, to be held at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, on Saturday Nov. 18th.
The Red Devils are set to make the program's 17th consecutive trip to nationals and 19th appearance overall. Led by Head Coach Don Nichter, the Dickinson women competed in their 28th straight NCAA Mideast Regional, placing fifth in the team standings.
The Red Devils, ranked 31st in the latest U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (UST&FCCCA) national poll, finished second behind #1-ranked Johns Hopkins at the Centennial Conference Championships.
Senior Sofia Canning (Portland, Maine/Waynflete) will lead the way for the Red Devils, coming off an outstanding performance at the Mideast Regional, capturing second overall in the individual standings, just four seconds behind Hopkins' Ellie Clawson.
Canning ran to First-team All-Conference honors for the third straight season, posting her best finish at championships, capturing third overall with a time of 21:37. She ran to All-Region honors in each of the past three years as well, posting her best finish this fall. Her time marks a program-best on the Big Spring Course and marks the first sub-22 minute race by a Red Devil on that course as well.
Sophomore Tessa Cassidy (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) crossed the line ninth to earn Second-team All-CC honors, posting a mark of 22:20. She ran to All-Mideast Region Freshman Team honors at last season's championships and captured All-Region honors this season, crossing the line 29th.
Coach Nichter will rely on some young talent as the Red Devils challenge for a national title. First-year Emma Johnston (Pelham, N.Y./Pelham Memorial) was just one place away from earning All-Region honors, placing 36th (23:16) while classmate Evelyn Lantz (Manchester, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) was right there as well, crossing the line 38th with a time of 23:20.
The Red Devils have placed as high as sixth at the national championships, reaching that pinnacle in 2003 and back-to-back in 2005 and 2006. They will finalize their roster this week and head west on Thursday.
Starting time for the women's race on Saturday is set for 12:15 pm CST (1:15 EST)