Sophomore Brianna Ligotski DPT’18 saved her best race for the post-season as she overtook Nyack College's Rebecca Wakeley with about 300 meters to go and crossed the finish line with about a 25-meter lead to win the 2013 Central Atlantic Collegiate conference women's Cross Country Championship at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia.
Ligotski (Holy Redeemer HS/Hanover Twp, Pa.) finished in a personal-best time of 19:36. In winning the race, she also earned all-conference honors and was named the CACC's Runner of the Year. This is the second consecutive year that Ligotski has earned All-CACC status. She became just the second USciences runners to capture a CACC Championship and the first since Chrissy Woodruff won the last of her three consecutive titles in 2002. Ligotski's 19:36 time is the seventh fastest time ever recorded in a CACC Championship meet. It was also the Devils sixth fastest all time 5K time and fifth fastest 5K time run by a Devils at Belmont plateau.
In the team standings, USciences captured fourth place, just four points behind third place Felician College. Nyack College captured their first ever team championship with 32 points, dethroning five-time CACC Champion Philadelphia University (39 points). The Devils have finished no lower than fourth place in any of their races this season.
The Devils also were honored with the 2013 Anne Jackson Memorial Team Sportsmanship Award, marking the fourth time since the sportsmanship award was created in 2001 that the Devils have earned the honor. Coupled with the men's program, Head Coach Bob Heller's cross country teams have won a total of nine Team Sportsmanship awards in the 13-year history of the award.
Back to the race, in addition to Ligotski's personal-best race winning time, the Devils six other runners also recorded their fastest times of the season; with four of them recording personal best times. Kristine Thomas (Cherry Hill West HS/Cherry Hill, N.J.) was the Devils second finisher, placing 16th overall with a personal best time of 21:26. Allison Kmetz (Manasquan HS/Spring Lake, N.J.) placed 29th overall and had a personal best time of 21:59. Grace John (Council Rock North HS/Newtown, Pa.) was ten seconds behind Kmetz, placing 32nd overall with a time of 22:09, also a personal best.
Sciences fifth finisher, Jen O'Laughlin (South Brunswick HS/Dayton, N.J.) recorded a season-best time of 22:23 which was also the fastest time she's ever recorded at a race at Belmont Plateau. Melissa Humble (Central Bucks South HS/Jamison, Pa.) was the Devils sixth finisher, placing 42nd overall with a season-best time of 22:39. Emily Schwartz (Cherokee HS/Marlton, N.J.) rounded out the Devils runners setting personal-best, crossing the finish line in 22:56 for 46th place.
The Devils will conclude their season on Sunday, Nov. 10, when they compete at the NCAA East Region Championship at Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts. It will mark the women's cross country team's 11th consecutive appearance in the NCAA regional meet as a team.