PHILADELPHIA – Felician College placed 11th in the team standings at the 2012 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Women's Cross-Country Championship, hosted by Philadelphia University on Sunday morning at Belmont Plateau.
Felician had finished in eighth place in each of the last two seasons. This year's squad, however, sent four sophomores and a senior first-year runner to the Championship, only two of whom had previous collegiate experience. All fourteen CACC schools sponsor women's cross-country.
All four Golden Falcon runners who competed both on Sunday and in the Philly Metro Invitational on September 22 on the same Belmont Plateau course clocked an improved time on Sunday.
"Looking at the season as a whole, and based on the times on this course, this race shows how much we've improved as a team over an eight-week period," said 11th-year Felician head coach John Brennan. "If this team stays together and continues to work hard, the future looks bright."
Sophomore Sylvia Bialy (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) was Felician's frontrunner, as she has been all season. Bialy's time of 22 minutes, 52 seconds, for 5,000 meters was good for 35th place out of 85 competitors
Sophomores Lianne Rossi (Nutley, N.J./Nutley) and Andrea Sarracino (Wood-Ridge, N.J./St. Mary), who have gone back-and-forth all season as the No. 2 and 3 runners for the Golden Falcons, ran tightly again. Rossi finshed 44th overall in 23:31, while Sarracino was right behind with a 23:30 and placed 45th.
Completing the Felician scoring were sophomore Samantha Kamphausen (East Rutherford, N.J./Becton) (61st, 25:06) and senior Joanna Chacon (Elmwood Park, N.J./Elmwood Park) (85th, 36:04). "Joanna hurt her ankle early in the race," Brennan said. "But she ran the last two miles on it. She was determined to finish the race and allow us to post a team score."
The Golden Falcons ended the day with 270 points, 226 more than champion Philadelphia University. Bloomfield College, with 268 points, nipped Felician for 10th place.
By CACC rules, the first 15 finishers in the race were automatically named all-conference. Sunday marks just the second time in the 13-year history of its program that Felician did not claim an all-conference runner.
Wilmington (Del.) University sophomore Althea Davidson was named the CACC Runner of the Year after winning the race in 19:00. The host Rams captured their fifth straight conference team championship.
Felician will compete in the NCAA Division II East Regional Championship on Sunday, November 4, in Nashua, N.H.
RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Althea Davidson, Wilmington
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Alyssa Litty, Philadelphia
COACH OF THE YEAR: Latia Deyli, Nyack
TEAM SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Nyack