Hopkins Dominates NCAA Mideast Regional En Route to Eighth Straight Title
NEWVILLE, PA - The Johns Hopkins women's cross country team entered the NCAA Mideast Regional as a heavy favorite and cruised to its eighth consecutive regional crown. The eight-straight regional titles is the longest active streak in Division III.
The Blue Jays were paced by Sophia Meehan (21:46), Tess Meehan (21:47) and Caroline Smith (21:58), who were the first three runners to cross the finish line. Sophia Meehan finished first for the second straight year to add another Regional Runner of the Year title to her resume.
"Sophia and Tess ran fantastic races, that is a great one-two punch up front," said head coach Bobby Van Allen. "What Caroline did was absolutely amazing."
The #1-ranked Lady Jays tallied 33 points to finish well in front of second-place Dickinson (100 points) and the rest of the 50-team field.
With the victory, Johns Hopkins earns an automatic bid to next Saturday's NCAA Championship, where it will look to capture a fourth consecutive national title.
"There were over 300 runners out there and it was very similar to the NCAA Championship, where there are 280," explained Bobby Van Allen. "It was important to get off the line and get position to establish ourself, and we were able to do just that."
Accolades weren't confined to the top three runners as all seven Blue Jays who competed took home All-Region honors. Courtney Kelly (11th place, 22:16), Caroline Powers (16th place, 22:38), Tasha Freed (18th place, 22:43) and Jordan Delane (35th place, 23:07) each earned in the honor. Additionally, Freed was the first freshman to cross the finish line.
Hopkins will conclude its season next weekend at the NCAA Division III Championships, hosted by University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The Blue Jays will compete against 31 other squads in Saturday morning's race at 11:00am (CT).
Video highlights from today's meet are available on the Hopkins Sports Youtube page.