NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Stonehill Places 19th Overall

Senior Maura Ferrarini led the way for Stonehill with her 70th place finish overall. (PHOTO BY Shawn Toner)

Ferrarini finishes 70th overall to lead Skyhawks

SPOKANE, Wash. (November 19, 2011) – The Stonehill College women's cross country team, making its 12th-straight appearance to the NCAA Division II National Championships, finished 19th overall out of 24 teams at the Plantes Ferry Regional Park on Saturday afternoon in snowy weather conditions.

Augustana (S.D.) captured its first national championship in program history edging out Western State by just four points, 75-79. Grand Valley State finished third with 104 points. Stonehill notched 488 points to finish 19th out of 24 teams.

"The women ran a solid race, there wasn't anybody out of the crowd that had a spectacular day but they all had a solid day," said head coach Karen Boen.

Senior tri-captain Maura Ferrarini (Springfield, Mass./Cathedral) guided the Skyhawks to 19th place overall covering the six-kilometer course in 23 minutes and 23.6 seconds.

"Maura ran very strong, she was closing the entire time," said Boen. "The conditions weren't great but she did a good job today despite that."

Senior Jill Alves (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson Regional) followed in 89th place in a time of 23:48.2. Sophomore Sarah Biggers (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Lakeland) crossed the finish line in 23:55.4 for a 98th place finish overall while classmate Chelsea Bishop (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) came in at 24:08.8 (113th overall).

Junior Kristen Veit (Easthampton, Mass./Holyoke Catholic) finished 118th overall in 24:16.2 and classmate Stephanie Wilson (Wayzata, Minn./Hopkins) rounded out the group in 128th place with a time of 24:31.7.

"These kids have put their heart and souls into this and have made major sacrifices," said Boen of the team's performance this afternoon and the season overall. "Only three percent of cross country athletes in Division II make it to the national championships. The fact that our women have been in that top-three percent for twelve-straight years is something that they should be very proud of."

Stonehill earned its 12th-straight appearance to the NCAA Division II National Championships by capturing its third-straight East Regional title earlier this fall. The Skyhawks also claimed their third-straight Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) championship and 10th overall in program history by placing four runners in the top-10 and all seven of their runners in the top-20.

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