LOUISVILLE, Ky. --- Moravian College senior Meg Brockett made up 30 spots over the final 1,800 meters to finish 35th and earn All-America honors at the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championships run at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park and hosted by Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.
Brockett turned in a time of 21:16.1 on the 6,000-meter course, finishing in the final All-America spot by four tenths of a second. She was 35th among the 280 runners while senior Sarah Hughes placed 118th in 22:03.7.
"Going into the race, we talked about how they really just needed to treat this race any other 6K we've done," commented Head Coach Jesse Baumann. "Yes it is a really big meet with a lot of really good athletes but we've been exposed to that before so we didn't want them to get caught up in the moment. Their pattern has been to get out slower then go though pack as the race moved on but they probably got a little to slow since they were about 200th through the first kilometer so they were really far back and had a lot of work to do.
"They steadily moved up throughout the race and with about 600 meters to go, Meg was right in the mix for All-American and Sarah was about 125th," Baumann continued. "They just kept kicking of there. For both of them, it is about all we could have asked for since they were a couple of seconds and a couple of places of what we expected them coming. It is tough to recreate your best race when the lights are brightest, and it is a big testament to them being able to step up in the moment and cap up a great season.
"We left very happy with their places and times. Meg is our first women's cross country All-American since 2001. We're all extremely happy with that. They had great meet, great season and really great career for both. I couldn't be prouder," finished Baumann.
At the final checkpoint of the race, Brockett was in 65th place in 10:39.1, and she would pass 30 runners to finish the race as Moravian's first All-American since 2001 when Kim Jaick, Emily Shertzer and Heidi Wolfsberger all earned All-America accolades. Brockett's time was the third fastest in school history, and she has run the top four times and a total of six times under 22:00 minutes this fall.
"I was super excited to be at nationals, we've never been here so it was an exciting experience overall," stated Brockett. "My goal going is was to come in top 50 but I was shooting for All-America but knew it was going to be tough. I got it, and I am so overwhelmed with happiness. I couldn't have done without coach Jesse and his guidance. I'm excited to be with best friend Sarah, who pushed me the entire way."
Hughes' time of 22:03.7 is the 22nd fastest time in school history and her fifth time of the 2016 season under 22:04.
"My goal coming was to pickoff as many people as I could during the race, and I think accomplished that goal," Hughes said. "I couldn't do without coach Jesse. He has been great to both of us and really helpful. I'm real happy to have had good day with Meg at nationals."
Photos by Jamie Rhodes