Repeat! Hopkins Claims Second Straight National Title!
Nov. 23, 2013
HANOVER, IN – The Johns Hopkins women’s cross country team won its second consecutive national title today, finishing first at the NCAA Championships at Hanover College with 85 points. Sophomore Hannah Oneda led the Blue Jays with a fourth place finish (21:27), the best ever by a Hopkins runner at the NCAA Championships. Senior Annie Monagle took 14th (21:43), while junior Frances Loeb finished 15th (21:44) to pace the Blue Jays. Hopkins is the first team to win back-to-back NCAA titles since Middlebury won in 2000 and 2001.
“I’m so proud of such an historic season that was fueled by so many individuals well beyond the seven that ran today,” said head coach Bobby Van Allen. “They handled the pressure extremely well with great maturity from being ranked No. 1 all year and cut our point total almost in half from last year's team...these girls are developing the culture of Johns Hopkins cross country and felt like they were representing all the alumni that have ever worn a Hopkins cross country uniform.”
The Blue Jays cruised to the front of the pack off the starting line, and maintained a lead with Oneda, Clarke, Loeb and Monagle through the first several kilometers. The windy looping course at Hanover College provided spectators with an up close and personal view of the race, and proved challenging for the field of competitors. Oneda stuck with the front pack for the duration of the race, which included Chelsea Johnson (St. Scholastica), Noelle Olson (St. Olaf), and Kaleigh Kenny (Williams). When she first finished, Oneda shook off the initial shock before realizing what her team had just accomplished.
“When I went across the finish line, I sat down and was delirious and I looked around and was like, ‘did we win?’” said Oneda. “Once we looked up at the screen and flashed the results, that was awesome.”
In addition to Monagle and Loeb’s 14th and 15th place finishes, the Blue Jays placed two more runners in the top 50 as senior Holly Clarke finished 38th (22:03) and Ashley Murphy took 46th (22:09). Hopkins was the only team to place five runners inside the top 50 in the overall standings and in the top 40 in the team standings, which secured the team victory by a 52-point margin.
Holly Clarke was the unsung hero for the Blue Jays, as the senior battled stomach pains for a majority of the race. The Lincoln, MA native fought through it all the way to the finish line, and credited her teammates for getting her there.
“I finished the race today to win as a team,” said Clarke. “Hearing that we won was the best thing that could have happened all day…Annie [Monagle] was saying to me: ‘Go we’re doing this right now’ literally during the race. I just thought ‘Ok I’m going to stick with this for these girls, this is why I’m here today.’ This is what I’ve been doing all season and this is why I run cross country.”
Senior Abby Flock and freshman Tess Meehan rounded out the Hopkins seven placing 136th (22:49) and 137th (22:50) respectively. After finishing in the top 35, Oneda and Monagle earned their second career All-America selection while Loeb captured her first. Running in her final cross country race for the Blue Jays, Monagle summed up the team’s accomplishments throughout her career.
“I think we take the opportunities when they’re presented to us” said Monagle. "We take no race for granted, we take every competitor seriously and every minute we run with the best of our abilities. I think that’s really what it’s really about.”
Williams captured second place in the team standings with 137 points, while Middlebury took third with 185. The women’s 6k individual national champion was Chelsea Johnson from St. Scholastica, who finished in 21:11.