Bristol, R.I. – Junior Mia Tompkins (Meriden, Conn.) posted a 10th place overall finish and earned All-GNAC Second Team honors in the process to lead the University of Saint Joseph cross country team to an eighth place finish at the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championships on Saturday. The 5K meet was hosted by Johnson & Wales University at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I. and featured 99 runners and 12 teams.
Tompkins crossed the finish line first for the Blue Jays with a time of 20:22 to record the top-10 finish. By finishing inside the top-14 spots, she guaranteed herself All-GNAC accolades for the first time in her career as the first seven finishers were named to the All-GNAC First Team and the following seven earned All-GNAC Second Team honors. Tompkins was also named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship team as the representative from USJ.
Sophomore Kristina Petit (Plainville, Conn.) was the second runner to finish for USJ, turning in a time of 22:46 for a 35th place result. Finishing right behind Petit was senior Mary Anderson (Granby, Conn.) who logged a 40th place finish with a time of 23:17.
Seniors Jessica Jordan (Wallingford, Conn.) and Paulina Koloda (Jaroslaw, Poland) rounded out the field for the Blue Jays who finished in 48th and 67th place, respectively. Jordan crossed the finish line with a time of 24:07 and Koloda ran 30:33.
Senior Haddie Landry of Norwich University claimed first place in the women's 5K race with a time of 19:18 en route to earning GNAC Runner of the Year honors and led the Cadets to their second consecutive GNAC title as a team. The Cadets scored 57 points to edge out Simmons who recorded 62 points and took runner-up.
Emmanuel finished third with 93 points followed by Regis (Mass.) (97) and Johnson & Wales (157) to round out the top-five. Saint Joseph's College of Maine finished sixth followed by Suffolk (186), USJ (200), Rivier (224), Lasell (268), Mount Ida (273) and Anna Maria (346) to complete the 12-team women's field.
Stephanie Forester of Emmanuel was named the GNAC Rookie of the Year as the top finishing freshman with her seventh place result. Simmons' head coach Eric Ashe was voted the GNAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year after the Sharks' runner-up finish and Norwich was honored with the Institutional Sportsmanship Award to account for the remaining three major awards handed out at the meet.
Next up for the USJ cross country team is the NCAA Division III New England Regionals, hosted by the University of Southern Maine at Gorham Country Club, Saturday, November 11. The women's race is set to begin at 11 a.m.