MANCHESTER, N.H. - For the first time in school history, the Southern New Hampshire University women's cross country team will participate in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships. The competition will be held Saturday (Nov. 23) in Sacramento, California, at Arcade Creek Cross Country Course (at Haggin Oaks). California State University, Sacramento and the Sacramento Sports Commission will serve as hosts. The women's race will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern, followed by the men's race at 2:15 p.m. Eastern.
The Penmen received an automatic bid when they finished third at the NCAA Division II East Regional in Philadelphia on November 9. It was the best-ever finish for the SNHU women.
The young SNHU squad has been paced this year by a pair of sophomores, Ashley Corcoran (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Grace Henson (Cumberland, R.I.), and by a freshman Lydia Mathson (Nashua, N.H.). Captain Madison Brand (Valhalla, N.Y.) and junior Maura Coakley (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) provide veteran leadership and contributed points. Newcomers Sarah Zarakotas (Deerfield, N.H.) and Alexarae Clark (Deer Park, N.Y.) have gained valuable experience while scoring throughout the season.
Corcoran, who finished second at both the NE10 Championship and the NCAA Division II East Regional, owns the program record at 6k with a 21.24.8 at the Paul Short Run on October 5 at Lehigh. Henson's 22:09.8 in that same race was her PR, and fourth best in program history.
- This will be the first trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship for the SNHU women. The previous program best at the Regionals had been sixth place.
- Stonehill College and Roberts Wesleyan, the top two teams at the East Regional, will also compete for the National Championship on Saturday.
- Junior Micah Hewitson (New Market, Md.) of the SNHU Men's Cross Country team will compete as an individual after finishing in fifth place at the East Regional.
For the latest on Southern New Hampshire University athletics, follow the Penmen via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. You can also sign up to receive text message alerts and e-mail newsletters about your favorite Penmen teams.