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Riley Capuano crosses the finish line in second place (photo by Aaron Brewer)
Riley Capuano crosses the finish line in second place (photo by Aaron Brewer)

Riley Capuano Finishes Second in 1500 Meters, Earns All-America Honors

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Riley Capuano edged out two other competitors at the finish line to earn second place in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

Capuano finished in 4:28.66, just ahead of Alessia Sarussi of WashU in third in 4:28.74, while Deyanneira Colon Maldonado was in fourth in 4:28.78, as the three runners all finished within just .12 of each other. Haley Schoenegge of Vassar pulled ahead of the pack to win in 4:19.46, and Capuano was able to win a very competitive battle for second, after standing in fourth at the 1100-meter split before surging over the closing stretch to move up into the second position on the All-America podium.

Capuano earned All-America in all three seasons, finishing 11th in cross country nationals in the fall, with the greatest improvement in the country after finishing 257th as a first-year in 2022. She also was part of the distance medley relay team in indoor track and field season, which came in third.

Natalie Bitetti was also in action for CMS on Saturday in the 5000 meters and finished in ninth place. Bitetti was also part of the DMR in the winter, when she finished second in the 3000 meters individually, after finishing second at cross country nationals in the fall, matching the highest finish for any SCIAC runner, men or women. in the history of the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships. 

Four Athenas competed this weekend in all, with Elle Marsyla earning a 16th place finish in the finals of the 10000 meters on Thursday, while Laura Zimmer was 16th in the prelims of the 1500 meters. Marsyla (27th) joined Bitetti and Capuano on the All-America podium during cross country season, while Zimmer was also part of the All-America distance medley relay team in the winter with Capuano, Bitetti and Shriya Velichala.  

CMS finished tied for 27th as a team, with the eight points that Capuano earned for her second-place finish. WashU earned the team title with 71 points, while Wisconsin-La Crosse was second with 47.5.