Fifth-Place Finish for Women's Cross Country at Saturday's NCAA Regional

BRUNSWICK, Maine – Tufts Women's Cross Country placed fifth out of 57 teams on Saturday in the six-kilometer event at the NCAA Regional hosted by Bowdoin College.

Kelsey Tierney's top 35 finish helped the Jumbos' cause

The Jumbos compiled a score of 159, while Brandeis (136) finished fourth overall and was 23 points ahead of Tufts. The brown and blue were 28 points ahead of Bates (187) who ended the day in sixth. MIT won the NCAA Regional with a score of 87 to earn them an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. Middlebury placed second and also was rewarded with an automatic bid. Coast Guard's Kaitlyn Mooney recorded the best individual time with a 20:43.74.

Tufts' fifth-place finish could earn the Jumbos an at-large berth into next weekend's NCAA Championship. If it does not, Tufts senior Natalie Bettez will receive an individual bid to the NCAA Championship after her Regional time of 21:26.83 for a fourth place finish. The top seven runners of teams that don't earn an NCAA berth qualify for the NCAA Championship individually. This is the sixth event this year that Bettez has placed as the Jumbos' top finisher. A season ago, the senior finished 11th overall at the NCAA Regional.

Junior Lydia Heely also placed in the top 25 overall for Tufts as she was 16th and posted a 22:25.86 time. This is the third event in which Heely has finished in the top two Jumbos. She also has a chance at an individual berth if Tufts does not make it as a team. Senior Kelsey Tierney ended the day 34th with her 22:47.47 mark and was the third Jumbo to score.

In her first career NCAA Regional, freshman Anna Slager was 52nd overall with her 23:11.20 mark making her the fourth Tufts member to account in the team score. Senior Olivia Barnett (23:12.32) rounded out the Jumbos' top five with her 53rd place finish.

Senior Julia Noble (23:13.16) and junior Jennifer Jackson (23:46.55) also competed for Tufts and placed 54th and 91st respectively, as all seven Jumbos finished in the top 100 overall. The race featured 399 finishers.

Tufts will find out tomrorow if they will be in the NCAA Championships as an at-large team.

The NCAA Championships will be next Saturday in Winneconne, Wisconsin.


Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello