November 3, 2012 - Deploying one of the youngest lineups in the entire field, the Hillsdale College women's cross country team came extremely close to taking the next step in its season Saturday.
The Chargers finished in sixth place at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet, held at Kenosha, Wisconsin. The top five teams from each region qualify for the national championships. No individuals from Hillsdale qualified for the national meet, bringing the team's season to an end.
Hillsdale scored 169 points in the meet, and was just 15 behind fifth-place Bellarmine. GLIAC schools captured the top three spots at the meet, led by Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State and Ferris State. Not only was the team one place away from qualifying for nationals, its top runner was one place away from doing the same thing on an individual level.
Junior Victoria McCaffrey finished 14th overall with a time of 21:46. A 13th place finish would have propelled her to the national meet as an individual. As it was, she was one of three Hillsdale runners who earned All-Region status.
She was joined by freshmen Emily Oren (17th, 21:56) and Kristina Galat (24th, 22:08. Oren and Galat have steadily improved throughout the season and give coach Andrew Towne's program high hopes entering next season.
Photo courtesy of Peter Ausum