XC: ‘Nova runner places 87th at nationals

Kaitlin Gallagher

On Nov. 20, Frances Koons traveled to Terre Haute, Ind. to compete in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.

Almost one week earlier, Koons dominated the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional qualifying event when she finished the 6K race with a personal best time of 20:02.9. Last season, Koons finished fourth.

This year, the personal time achievement nabbed Koons first place at the regional event. Koons’ finished almost 30 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.

The entirety of the Villanova women’s cross country team tied with Bucknell for fifth in the regional race behind Princeton, Georgetown, LaSalle and West Virginia, respectively.

An automatic advance to the national meet requires a first or second place finish, meaning that the women’s cross country team did not appear at the National Championship meet.

Although Koons’ team was unable to race in the championship meet, her performance in the regional race secured her a spot in the 253 contestant race in Indiana last weekend. The race was hosted by Indiana State University at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.

Less than ideal weather conditions seemed to affect all the racers, but when the race was over Koons posted an impressive 22:02.1 time, giving her an 87th place finish.

Prior to the National Championship race, Koons finished first in both the Paul Short Invitational and the Big East Championship in addition to her triumph at the NCAA regional event.

With the cross country season over, Koons and the rest of the Villanova track and field team will begin to focus on their upcoming indoor track season, which opens with the Jack Pyrah Invitational. The Wildcats will host this meet at Haverford College tomorrow.