Another One for the Trophy Case: Dartmouth’s D’Agostino Wins NCAA Cross Country Crown
Dartmouth's Abby D'Agostion, right, celebrates with Dana Giordano after D'Agostion won the women's NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Terre Haute, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Dartmouth's Abby D'Agostion runs toward the finish line to win the women's NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Terre Haute, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Terre Haute, Ind. — Abbey D’Agostino. National champion.
That has become a familiar phrase in 2013. On Saturday, the Dartmouth Colleg senior finally won the one title that has eluded her during her collegiate career, winning the NCAA women’s cross country championship on the LaVern Gibson 6K Course in a time of 20 minutes, 00.3 seconds.
The win gives D’Agostino five national championships in her career between cross country, indoor track and the outdoor season, 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 1,500; indoor 3,000; outdoor 5,000 meters; 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 delivered the Ivy League its first cross country champion on either the men’s or 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, D’Agostino took over the top spot and built up an insurmountable lead for the final 2,000 meters.
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 Big Green 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,” he said. “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.”.
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 Hanna 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.
Just outside the team’s top five was sophomore Sarah Bennett in 182nd (21:54.2) and Alison Lanois in 207th (22:08.6).
Men 24th; Geoghegan An All-American
Terre Haute, Ind. — The Dartmouth men’s cross country team finished 24th overall with 551 points at Saturday’s NCAA cross country championship, with senior Will Geoghegan leading the way.
Geoghegan who earned All-America honors with a 14th-place finish in 30:22.1. It marked the best finish for a Dartmouth runner since Tom McArdle was eighth in 2002, also in Terre Haute.
Colorado won the team title with 149 points with Northern Arizona finishing a close second with 169.
Senior Henry Sterling (31:24.1), senior Steve Mangan (31:55.4), senior John Bleday (32:01.6) and sophomore Brian Masterson (32:23.4) completed the top five for Dartmouth.