McKillop Finishes Runner-Up, Athenas 12th at Nationals

McKillop Finishes Runner-Up, Athenas 12th at Nationals

Elsah, Ill. - Bryn McKillop (SC) capped off a tremendous senior season with a Runner-Up finish in the National Championships on a wet and windy Saturday morning in Elsah, Ill. McKillop helped lead the Athenas to a 12th-place finish (402 team points) in the 32-team field. The 12th-place team finish marks the seventh-straight season that the Athenas have finished in the top-15 in the country.

McKillop finished the 6K course in a time of 20:45.90 to finish nine seconds behind individual medalist Khia Kurtenbach (Chicago), who crossed with a time of 20:39.20. Just seconds behind McKillop were Ellie Clawson (Johns Hopkins), Kaitlyn Mooney (Coast Guard), and Nicky Roberts (Amherst). The trio rounded out the top-five with times of 20:47.00, 20:48.30, and 20:49.50 respectively.

In the team race, Johns Hopkins won their second-straight National Title and fifth in the last six years with a 95-point victory over Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Blue Jays finished with 96 team points against Eau Claire's 191 points. Washington-St. Louis (202 points), MIT (210), and Carleton (258) rounded out the top-five teams in the Saturday's race.

As mentioned, McKillop led the Athenas all afternoon long. She jumped into the front-pack almost immediately after the starting gun sounded. Her first mile she turned in the third-fasted time in the opening mile of anyone in he competition, hustling out to a 5:40.10 time in the opening 1,600 meters. By the second mile marker, McKillop remained in the front pack and held a share of the lead with a time of 11:10.70.

Kurtenbach started to separate herself from the lead group during the third mile.When the front pack finished their third mile, Kurtenbach held a three second lead on the other four runners out front. McKillop sat in fourth after three miles, trailing second-place Mooney by 2.4 seconds.

A strong kick from McKillop allowed the CMS senior to vault into second place over the final 1,200 meters. McKillop's second-place finish ties Cindy Nagle's second-place finish for the best finish in CMS women's cross country history.

Roselyn Cantu (CMC) was the second Athena to cross the line at the National Championship, finishing in 115th place in a time of 22:20.50. Cantu's run earned the Athenas 73 team points. Just four seconds behind Cantu was Malea Martin (CMC) with a time of 22:24.40 to place 124th.

Abigale Johnson (SC) finished the 6K in a time of 22:34.80 to finish in 145th place and earn the Athenas 98 team points. Kyleigh Mann (CMC) was the fifth runner to cross for the Athenas earning 149 points for CMS. Mann crossed in a time of 22:59.00 in the final race of her career.

Ellen Berkley (CMC) and Dulcie Jones (SC) rounded out the effort for CMS with times of 22:59.90 and 23:41.30.

The 12th-place finish extends a streak of seven-straight seasons with a top-15 team finish in the nation.

The National Championship meet ends the 2017 season for CMS. The Athenas won a total of seven races including both the SCIAC Championship and the NCAA West Regional.