The Mack Report

Cross Country: Merrimack Qualifies For First NCAA National Championships; Places Third at Regionals

Merrimack Cross Country

BOSTON, Mass. – Guided by a pair of top-20 finishes, the Merrimack College women’s cross country team continued a historic season, qualifying for the NCAA National Championship in Spokane, Wash., for the first time in program history after placing third as a team at the NCAA Regionals on Sunday afternoon at Franklin Park in Boston.

The Basics
Top Finisher: Kristin Schmidt  (Athens, N.Y.) (17th)
Team Rankings: 1. Stonehill (57) | 3. Merrimack (149) | 25. Holy Family (718)
: Franklin Park (6K Course) | Boston, Mass.

How It Happened
On a day that saw two different Warriors finish inside the top-20, Merrimack sealed itself a spot in the NCAA National Championships after finishing with a combined time of 1:58.37, good for the third-best time in the 26-team field to clinch a spot in Nationals.

Schmidt’s 16th-place finish was tops among all Warriors, finishing in 23:14 in the 6K course. Her finish highlighted Merrimack’s impressive field of top-five finishers, with senior Fiona Coleman (Windsor, Conn.) representing Merrimack’s next-closest finisher with a time of 23:18.

In third for the Warriors was junior Kelsey Grimmer (Shelton, Conn.), who placed 32nd overall with a 23:51 time. Rounding out the top-five perfomers for Merrimack were freshmenClaire Aalerud (Winchester, Mass.) and Colleen Englert (Fayetteville, N.Y.), who placed 41st and 44th, respectively, to round out Merrimack’s top scorers on Sunday.

For their efforts, Schmidt and Coleman were both named to the All-Region squad, with sophomore Nick Christensen (Peabody, Mass.) earning a spot on the men’s All-Region Team, as well.

What They Said
Head Coach Chris Cameron: “Obviously, an incredible day for the women. They’ve worked so hard for an opportunity like this, and we as a coaching staff could not be more proud of their qualifying for Nationals.”

Up Next
Merrimack will enjoy an off week before competing in the NCAA National Championships the weekend of Nov. 23 in Spokane, Wash. More details will be available online in the coming weeks.