With a roster of seasoned runners, the Cardinals women’s cross country team was able to make some history during its 2016 season.
By virtue of placing second and eighth, respectively, Amanda Cortese ’17 and Helen Majer ’17 earned All-CCIW accolades for the fourth consecutive season, becoming the sixth and seventh student-athletes in the program’s history to do so. Cortese placed 20th, sixth and fourth in three previous conference meets, while Majer finished 15th, fourth and seventh.
Mahesh Narayanan, head women’s cross country coach, explained that the team dealt with injuries early in the season. “Our challenge was keeping everyone healthy at the same time during the regular season,” he says.
The team was able to heal and develop consistent training into October, carrying them through the NCAA Regional Championships in November.
As a team, the Cardinals placed second in the CCIW and ninth in the NCAA Division III Midwest Region Championships. Cortese was the team’s top finisher once again, placing 37th, while Tori Capozziello ’17 finished 40th and Majer came in 47th.
Of the nine meets the Cardinals competed in, Narayanan said the most important was North Central’s Red and White Open on November 3. The team won the meet with a total of 29 points and four top-10 finishes. “The team figured out how to run free, and that set us up for our best team race the following weekend at the NCAA Regional Championships,” he adds.