At the conclusion of the South/Southeast Region Championships, senior Jade Zaharoff finished three places shy of an automatic berth to the National Championships based on two teams advancing. When the NCAA Committee determined the at-large teams, they felt the close finish between 2nd & 3rd place Rhodes & Centre - and their opposite finish at their Conference Championships - warranted a rare invitation to a third team out of the region and moved Zaharoff into the National Championships, too.
While in Wisconsin, she took advantage of the opportunity to explore Milwaukee and the Oshkosh areas, got dressed up with her coaches and parents to celebrate the Championships with the rest of the participants at the pre-meet banquet, and previewed the course with her dad running at her side.
Best of all, of course, was the race itself. After a confused recall of the first start attempt (the crowd noise made it difficult for the racers to hear the recall gun), the 32 teams and 56 individuals were off in a massive flow of bodies.
Back at CNU, her teammates were watching the webcast of the race on the big screens of the admissions welcome center, finally catching sight of her royal singlet at about the 2.5 mile mark. Mid-race reports from the chip timing system were a little slow coming out, but eventually announced her first mile was a 5:51 (187th position) followed by a 6:20 and a 6:29. Getting out well and settling in to a strong rhythm through the middle of the race, she was able to move by a few more competitors over the final 1200m. Her teammates cheered loudly as she appeared on camera again heading towards the finish line and secured a 211th place finish in a career-best time of 23:11.55. That performance solidifies her as one of the top-10 women distance runners in CNU history.
With the 2011 Cross Country season now completed, it is time for the Captains to shift their focus to the Indoor Track & Field season and their home opener on December 4th in the Freeman Center.
For complete CNU Results, check out the Results Page