Cards soar to first Landmark Conference championship!

Cards soar to first Landmark Conference championship!

ALTOONA, Pa. - Led by top-ten finishes from Rebecca Radcliffe, Keely Eckberg, and Laura Kinley, CUA won its first Landmark Conference championship on Saturday with 63 points. Radcliffe placed fifth in 23:34.20, while Eckberg crossed in seventh in 24:13.40, with both runners earning First Team All-Conference honors.

Kinley placed eighth with a time of 24:27.50 earning Second Team All- Conference honors.

Moravian took second place in the team standings with 75 points, followed by Juniata (80), Scranton (87), Susquehanna (88), Goucher (111), and Merchant Marine (191).

Head Coach Joe Fisher reflected on what this championship meant to him.  "Every single woman on our roster stepped up today. The women had nothing left when the race was over, absolutely nothing left. They left everything they had out on the course, and that is all you can ask for as a coach." 

He continued, "We knew what we had to do, and we went out and did it. It's hard to win a championship, very hard.  That's why this is so special to the team, because we know the work that went into it.  Everyone of our women were committed to make this happen.  They were very excited when they found out we had won." 

Other runners that competed for CUA on Saturday included Cristine Butrico, who finished in 19th place in 25:41.20, Erin Schlegel who came in 29th in 26:11.10, Kristen Rayfield, who posted a 34th finish in 26:29.70, Grace Lally (40), Jane Marrinan (53), Sara Lally (54), Corine Dolan (58), and Masie Carr (65).

Drew's Jennifer Van Wingerden (22:52.20) and Juniata's Katrina Woods (23:08.40) took the top two individual spots.

Prior to Saturday, CUA's highest finishes at the Conference championship had been third, which the Cardinals accomplished in 2007 and 2009.

Fisher spoke of the effort his two captains, Eckberg and Kinley, gave on this day. "Laura and Keely went out fast, and they held their spots.  Then, when we needed someone to step up, Rebecca (Radcliffe) was right there.  Everyone ran their best race today and that was terrific to see.  To accomplish something like this you certainly need talent, but I think we had the right combination of talent, along with chemistry and hard work, to come away with a championship."

He concluded, "This was just an unbelievable day.  It's hard, you never know what might happen, but I thought we had a chance to do something special.  I was very happy for our women, because they earned this and truly deserve it."

CUA returns to the trail in two weeks when the Cardinals head to Atlanta, Ga. to compete at the NCAA Regional championship on November 10.  Action begins at noon.