NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Borofski Runs Third in Historic 3000m Steeplechase Final

Junior Nicole Borofski earns her fifth All-America honor, the first at Stonehill collect All-America plaudits for cross country and indoor and outdoor track in the same year. (PHOTO BY Andy Meng)

Plymouth, Massachusetts, junior shatters own program record with tenth-fastest time in Division II history for fifth career All-America performance

BRADENTON, Fla. (May 27, 2016) – Stonehill College junior All-American Nicole Borofski (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) turned in a program-best third place finish to earn the fifth All-America award of her career with a school-record shattering performance in the 3000-meter steeplechase on day two of the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by the University of Tampa and IMG Academy, at the IMG Academy complex tonight.

Borofski shattered her own school-record by finishing in 10:15.27 – the tenth-fastest time in NCAA Division II history for the event. It marks the highest ever finish by a Stonehill women's student-athlete in program history at an NCAA Championships meet and she is the first student-athlete in program history to earn All-America honors for cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field in the same academic year. Borofski broke her previous record time of 10:21.40 when she automatically qualified for the championships at Princeton University's Larry Ellis Invitational on April 22.

"I've always said this event is the hardest one on the track," said Stonehill Hall of Fame head coach Karen Boen. "To put trails and finals on back to back days, shows how tough of an athlete these runners are and Nicole is the epitome of a tough runner. She also has a great instinct on the track, great timing of when to make her moves and ran a perfect race tonight."

Reigning event national champion Emily Oren from Hillsdale College defended her title in 10:06.75, while her younger sister, Molly Oren of Hillsdale finished second in 10:11.40. The trio bested the 12-person field in the final by over five seconds. Borofski, who placed 11th in the event a year ago to earn the first All-America award of her career, earns six points for the Skyhawks in the team standings – good for 21st overall at the conclusion of the second day of the championships. She entered the final after qualifying with the top time in last night's preliminary round at 10:23.08 to win the second section.

"Coming into the race, I told myself everyone is going to be running tired with it being the second event of the weekend," said Borofski. "I knew I was good enough to run with these girls and was hoping it would all work out."

Borofski completed the first lap in fourth place as Emily Oren took immediate control and ran out to a big lead on the rest of the competitors. Borofski maintained her pace in fourth place, leading a large pack of runners with four laps to go, posting a 4:48.73 split at the mile mark.

Borofski's school-record time of 10:15.27 ranks tenth in Division II history. (PHOTO BY Andy Meng)

"I didn't quite expect the race would go the way it did," said Borofski. "I was watching the splits on the scoreboard and saw we had run a really fast mile, but I wasn't expecting that many people to still be in the pack, so I knew I had to keep pushing."

From here, Borofski made her move, pushing to third place with three laps to go, joining Molly Oren and Minnesota-Duluth junior Breanna Colbenson that started to separate from the pack behind Emily Oren. Borofski moved into second for the first time on the back stretch and was third with two laps to go as she attached herself to Molly Oren's hip when they crossed the finish line at 7:34.16.

"I knew this is where I should be and I could tell (Molly Oren) was getting tired, so I could stay with her," Borofski said. "If she made a move, I knew I needed to make it with her."

Borofski again pushed to second down the backstretch and held that position as the bell sounded with one lap to go. She tried to separate down the backstretch, but Molly Oren moved past her as they reached the final water jump and Borofski came home in third with a strong final lap of 1:19.37 to complete the record-breaking run.

"Just to make the podium, I am on cloud nine," said Borofski. "I've been looking forward to this race ever since not making the podium last year. I am very excited to also PR, but to learn I have a top ten time in Division II history, is the icing on the cake."

"I'm just so excited for her," said Boen. "She does everything right, but keeps a good perspective as well that is way beyond her years. We have great trust of one another as coach and athlete, it's one of the best coach/athlete relationships one could have."

Borofski was joined at the NCAA Championships this weekend by classmate and fellow All-American Aisha McAdams (North Kingstown, Rhode Island/North Kingstown), who was competing individually at an NCAA Championship for the first time in her career. She placed 16th in last night's 1500-meter run prelims with a time of 4:34.16.

Borofski's record-setting performance draws the Stonehill track & field season to a close, having won both the Northeast-10 Conference indoor and outdoor championships for the second time in program history. The indoor title was the third straight for the Skyhawks, who went on to capture a second outdoor championship this spring that also completed a sweep of the NE-10 cross country, indoor and outdoor championships for the second time in three years.

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