MEDFORD – With another strong performance at Williams College's Purple Valley Classic last Saturday, senior tri-captain Natalie Bettez of the Jumbo women's cross country team was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week.
As the USTFCCCA wrote in its release announcing Bettez as the Division III award winner, she cruised to a near 10-second win at the meet which featured athletes from six teams that were ranked in last week's NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll. She covered the 6K tract in 22:06.9, well ahead of runner-up Kaitlyn Mooney of Coast Guard, who finished fourth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships last year.
Tufts combined Bettez's performance with several others to finish third in the team standings and upset several teams that were ranked ahead of it last week. This is the first time that both Bettez and the Jumbos have earned a National Athlete of the Week honor in cross country.
Bettez, who also won the Pineland Super XC Shootout hosted by Bates in the opening weekend of the season, was selected as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Performer of the Week for the second time in her career yesterday.
After a strong junior season last fall in which she was sixth at the conference championship race, Bettez studied abroad in Seville, Spain last semester. She has returned better than ever, helping head coach Kristen Morwick's team close in on the top 10 in the national rankings. Tufts was #14 last week.
Materials from USTFCCCA used in this release