PRINCETON, N.J. - It was a well-established fact that the best individual women's cross country runner in the Ivy League was a member of the Dartmouth women's team before Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon, it was a fact that Dartmouth also has the best women's cross country team in the Ivy League, winning the Heptagonal Championship for the first time since 1997.
Leading the way was senior Abbey D'Agostino, winning her second career Heps cross country title (2011). In taking the individual crown, the Topsfield, Mass., native crushed the competition and the record books, winning the race in a Heps 6K record of 19:40.8, besting the old mark by 48 seconds. The second-place runner, Waverly Neer of Columbia, was nearly 40 seconds back of D'Agostino in 20:20.0
That 39.2-second margin of victory was the largest in Ivy League history, breaking the mark of 34.9 that was set by Princeton’s Liz Costello in 2008.
It was total team domination on this day as the Big Green women claimed their first title in 16 years with 38 points, 28 points ahead of second-place Cornell, the 2011 and 2012 champion.
Saturday’s championship was the fifth in program history and the first since Dartmouth won four straight between 1994 and 1997. D’Agostino becomes the second Big Green woman to win two Heps titles in a career, joining Maribel Sanchez (1995-96), who would go on to coach at her alma mater and recruit D’Agostino to Hanover.
“The team was great today. Everyone ran a really tough race and I couldn’t be more proud,” head coach Mark Coogan said. “Abbey took the race out from the beginning and the rest of the team followed, raising their level.
“There was a lot of heart and dedication put into winning this championship by every member of our team,” Coogan continued. “They are running so well right now and that should bode well for us in two weeks at regionals.”
To illustrate the depth of talent on this year’s roster, the Big Green still would have won the Championship had D’Agostino not run. With sophomore Dana Giordano and junior Sarah Delozier claiming spots in the top-10, it was apparent at the finish line which team was taking home the hardware.
Giordano ran a 20:29.9 to claim fifth place. A year after crossing as the top runner amongst all Ivy freshmen, Giordano once again proved to be the best in her class, finishing as the top sophomore runner in 2013.
Delozier was seventh overall in the field of 90 runners, crossing the line in 20:33.7.
Dartmouth fans looking to find the next two runners need not search the results too long as junior Alison Lanois and sophomore Elizabeth Markowitz were 12th and 13th, respectively. Lanois crossed in 21:01.9, while Markowitz was the next individual to finish, doing so in 21:09.2.
The Green and White will return to action on Friday, Nov. 15 when they run at the northeast regional at Van Cortland Park in New York, seeking to earn a berth at the NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., later this month.