COBLESKILL, N.Y. – The Gallaudet University women’s cross country team braved the cold elements Saturday in Cobleskill, N.Y., as the Bison made their first-ever appearance in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships hosted by SUNY Cobleskill. The Bison accumulated 189 team points and finished eighth overall out of nine official teams (at least five runners finish), 12 programs were represented in the championship meet.
The host Fighting Tigers won their third straight NEAC championship with 36 team points. Cazenovia College finished second overall with 68 points followed by Wells College (72 points), Morrisville State College (107), Keuka College (154), Penn St.-Harrisburg (165) and Penn St.-Abington (172). SUNYIT was ninth with 223 points.
Wells freshman runner Emily Middlebrook won the 5K race with a time of 19 minutes and 28 seconds. She was named NEAC Runner of the Year and NEAC Rookie of the Year. Middlebrook’s coach Julie Bailey took home NEAC Coach of the Year honors.
Sophomore Shadoe Williamson (Austin, Texas) just missed earning all-conference by one second as she finished 22nd overall as she crossed the finish line in 22 minutes, eight seconds. The top 21 places earn a spot on one of the three all-conference teams. Just behind Williamson was sophomore Radoslava Slavova (Scranton, Pa.) in 31st place as she clocked in at 22 minutes, 41 seconds.
Freshman Rachel Young (Leesburg, Va.)was the next Bison to finish as she finished 55th overall (25:41). Fellow freshman Payal Sharmacharya (Olathe, Kan.) placed 67th overall (28:35) followed by senior Olivia Malcolm (St. Augustine, Fla.) in 74th place (29:55). This was the last meet of the season for the Bison.
“Despite the freezing temperature our team stepped up and exhibited determination and grit,” said Gallaudet head coach Mikaela Gardner Hudson. “I am so proud of our women’s team as each member was successful in setting new personal best times today. We are excited to see how we perform next season.”