Furlong Leads Johns Hopkins to NCAA Regional Title
Nov. 13, 2010
SLIPPERY ROCK, PA – The Johns Hopkins women’s cross country team won its third straight NCAA Mideast Regional Championship on Saturday as the Blue Jays totaled 63 points to claim the team title. In addition, junior Cecilia Furlong became the first individual regional champion in Johns Hopkins history as she edged Delaware Valley’s Caitlin Dorgan in a photo finish that took nearly 30 minutes to determine. The Blue Jays, currently ranked fourth in the nation, were followed in the team standings by Dickinson (126), Elizabethtown (140), Haverford (168) and Grove City (170).
Furlong led a pack of six Johns Hopkins finishers in the top 35 as she got out in front early and stayed with or ahead of the lead pack for the first three miles. With a 10-yard lead and just 400 meters to go, she appeared to have enough kick to cruise to the win, but Dorgan turned it on down the stretch with an incredible late kick and pulled shoulder-to-shoulder with her in the last 10 yards. They battled right to the line before Furlong edged her by a tenth of a second (21:57.2 – 21:57.3) to claim the individual championship.
Furlong’s first-place showing fueled the championship, but the Blue Jays had more than enough depth to win by the 58-point margin. Freshman Lara Shegoski placed fifth (22:20.4) overall and was the top freshman finishers in the field of 314. Christina Valerio rounded out JHU’s top 10 finishers as she clocked in at 22:33.9 to placed 10th overall.
Senior Megan Brower (24th / 23:16.3) and sophomore Liz Provost (28th / 23:23.8) rounded out JHU’s five scoring runners, while senior Elizabeth Laseter (30th / 23:27.8) joined the top five in earning All-Region honors with her 30th-place finish.
With the team title the Blue Jays also earned their fourth straight automatic bid to upcoming NCAA Championships next weekend. Johns Hopkins placed a program-best seventh at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
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