Women’s cross country takes on nationals in Michigan

NYU women’s cross country competed in nationals for the first time since 2013.


NYU women’s cross country advanced to nationals for the first time since 2013. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Ethan Rendon, Staff Writer

On the snow-covered grounds of Forest Akers East Golf Course in Lansing, Michigan, NYU women’s cross country team and individual qualifier sophomore Ryan Tobin raced in the NCAA Division III National Championship on Saturday, Nov. 19.

For the first time since 2013, the No. 26 women’s team was selected for nationals after coming in second in the NCAA Niagara Regional last Saturday. 

“There’s a lot of teams that probably come into the national team,” head coach Tyler Deck Shipley said. “It’s kind of like crippling expectations. The first time we’ve been here in a long time. That’s really exciting.”

Violet runners managed to score 601 points as a team and place 26th in the 6K. Just as in regionals, the first NYU runner to finish was graduate student Grace Richardson. Richardson clinched All-American honors by crossing the line 37th overall with a time of 22:43.4.

Closing out, the five scoring runners for the Violets were first-year Janie Cooper in 175th, first-year Daniela Sekhar in 187th, senior Leah Haley in 189th, and sophomore Katherine Cheng in 233rd.

Prior to the race, Shipley said he was both proud and fortunate to be the coach of a team that was so “internally motivated.” Going into the season, Shipley had the expectations of “simply trying to be the best possible team,” and he thinks that the women’s team has lived up to that expectation.

Individually, Ryan Tobin’s third-place finish in regionals allowed him to qualify for nationals, and he was the sole runner for the NYU men’s team. Tobin had previously qualified for nationals in his first year and placed 197th. He managed to improve upon last year’s nationals and finished 138th, running an 8K in just over 26 minutes.

“Without my teammates, it can get easy to feel lost in a race this big,” Tobin said. “However, I gained the experience last year at nationals and feel much more comfortable this year.” 

Tobin managed to improve upon last year’s nationals and finished 138th, running an 8K in just over 26 minutes.

Contact Ethan Rendon at [email protected].