TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – National Champion: Abbey D'Agostino.
That has become a familiar phrase in 2013. On Saturday, the Dartmouth senior finally won the one title that has eluded her during her collegiate career, winning the 2013 NCAA Cross Country National Championship on the LaVern Gibson 6K Course in 20:00.3.
The win gives D’Agostino five national championships in her career between cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons, the most individual titles ever by an Ivy League student-athlete in any sport dating back to 1883. Since the start of this calendar year, D’Agostino has won four championships (indoor – 5000m/3000m, outdoor 5000m, cross country), two more than any other Ivy League track athlete has ever won in a career.
The now 10-time All-American had finished as the runner-up in 2012 and the third-place individual in 2011 by a combined 2.4 seconds. But those two results are now in the past as the Topsfield, Mass., native has delivered the Ivy League its first-ever cross country champion on either the men’s or the women’s side.
Iona’s Kate Avery opened up a big lead early in the race, leaving the pack almost 20 meters behind. But D’Agostino hung back, ran with the crowd and waited. Whether it was Avery slowing or the Dartmouth senior picking things up, in nearly the blink of an eye, D’Agostino had taken over the top spot and built up an insurmountable lead for the final 2,000 meters. She wraps up the 2013 season having won all six races in which she lined up in.
All of these dramatics happened on a rain-soaked course that was littered with puddles and large areas of mud that forced the NCAA to move up the starting line roughly 110 meters early Saturday morning.
Providence, the squad the Green and White had been chasing in the Northeast Regional all fall took home the team title for the first time since 1995. Dartmouth claimed 16th overall with 369 points, the best finish by any of the three Ivy League teams competing on Saturday.
“It was an incredible feeling when I crossed that line,” D’Agostino said. “I woke up this morning with a good feeling and a great deal of trust in myself. Having the team here was a huge difference and the final piece of the puzzle for me this year being able to win.”
Head coach Mark Coogan wasn’t worried about his top runner falling behind the leader early.
“That was all part of the plan. She’s an incredibly tough young woman and runner and I knew what she was capable of no matter the circumstances early in the race.
“And Abbey is just one part of this great team that has been exceptional all fall. I could not be more proud of the effort these women put in all season to make Dartmouth a contender in every race we took part in,” Coogan continued.
Sophomore Dana Giordano was the second Big Green runner to cross the finish line, claiming 31st overall in 20:41.1 and earning her first All-America honor in the process. That finish helped the team pick up 19 points in the standings.
Junior Sarah Delozier was the third Big Green harrier in the scoring, running a 21:30.5 to claim 129th and pick up 99 points. Following shortly after Delozier was sophomore Elizabeth Markowitz in 140th place (110 points) in 21:35.2.
Like D’Agostino, fellow senior Hannah Rowe was running in her final collegiate cross country race on Saturday. She would claim 172nd overall and 140 team points to round out the scoring for the Green.
|From left to right: National Champion Abbey 'D'Agostino, head coach Mark Coogan, All-American Dana Giordano|