Blue Jays Place First at Pre-Nationals
2017 Pre-National Complete Results
Score: Johns Hopkins 1st of 36 teams (74 points)
Location: Elsah, IL (Principia College, Principia Cross Country Course)
The Short Story: The top-ranked Johns Hopkins women's cross country team placed four runners in the top 11 to edge third-ranked MIT but two points and claim the team title at the 2017 Pre-Nationals at Principia College. The course will serve as the site of the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships on November 18.
How it Happened
The Blue Jays were paced by junior Ellie Clawson, who clocked in at 21:36.75 to claim third by just under five seconds over fourth-place finisher Ashlyn Bagge of Wartburg.
While Clawson was the Jays' top finisher, it was the team's depth at the top that was the difference between a first-place team finish and a runner-up showing. Junior Tasha Freed (6th 21:42.58), freshman Therese Olshanski (9th 21:49) and senior Caroline Smith (11th 21:51.33) all crossed the line within 15 seconds of Clawson.
The Engineers made things interesting with an equally impressive display of depth as they had two finishers in the top 10, two more in the top 20 and their fifth scoring runner crossed in 28th-place.
MIT needed Hopkins' fifth and final scoring runner to place 49th or lower to win and 48th to tie, but Blue Jay junior Shaina Palmer came through in a large pack in a time of 23:05.84 to place 46th and give Hopkins the two-point victory.
Breaking Down the Results
In addition to third-ranked MIT, the Blue Jays also beat second-ranked Washington (MO) (5th place 185 points), fourth-ranked SUNY-Geneseo (3rd 141), sixth-ranked Chicago (8th 226) and 10th-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire (9th 226).
Johns Hopkins heads into the championship portion of the 2017 season as the Blue Jays will travel to Gettysburg College on October 29 for the Centennial Conference Championships. Johns Hopkins has won the last nine Centennial Conference titles.
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