DES MOINES, Iowa - Abbey D'Agostino (Topsfield, Mass.) is a national champion in the 5,000 meters by three-hundredths of a second. The Dartmouth women's track & field sophomore claimed the program's first-ever individual national title Saturday afternoon at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium.
D'Agostino capped an unbelievably successful second year in Hanover with her second-straight First Team All-America honor after finishing third in this event last year.
Her title came by the slimmest of margins, narrowly edging out Washington's Megan Goethals by just the three-hundredths of a second. D'Agostino crossed the finish line in 16:11.34, while Goethals was credited with a time of 16:11.37.
"I cannot tell you how proud I am of Abbey for all her hard work this season which has led us to this point today," assistant women's coach Mark Coogan said. "It was a tough race with the temperature on the track seemingly in the low 100's. Abbey knew that she was a contender and pushed through that exterior adversity and ran a great race. This was a culmination of everything she's been working for all year and it's a great feeling knowing that she proved to everyone today what we already knew."
The Big Green women have never had an individual champion before in the history of the program and D'Agostino's title on Saturday is the first for either the Big Green men or the women since 1997 when Adam Nelson won the shot put.
With 10 points from D'Agostino and six more from Alexi Pappas (Alameda, Calif.), earned form a third-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase last night, Dartmouth finished tied for 14th with 16 team points. That placement in the standings is another program best, surpassing the 27th-place finish in 1991.
D'Agostino and Pappas' feats are even more impressive when considering the two scored 16 combined points, which beat out the total of perennial contenders like UCLA (14), Ohio State (14), USC (13) and Arkansas (13).
"I couldn't be any more proud of Abbey than I am right now for everything she has done during her first two years here," women's head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze said. "I can only imagine what she will be able to accomplish in the next two years."
The next event on the horizon for Pappas and D'Agostino is the Olympic Trails in Eugene, Ore., at the end of the month with the hopes of qualifying for London later this summer.