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WVU Finishes Competition at NCAA’s

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 15, 2021) – Sophomore Ceili McCabe of the West Virginia University cross country team finished 42nd overall at the 2020 NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Monday, giving the Mountaineers a 29th-place team finish.

McCabe crossed the Oklahoma State Cross Country Course (6k) finish line in 21:01.2. Mercy Chelangat took first place for Alabama with a finishing time of 20:01.1.

“Obviously, we are not thrilled with this team performance,” coach Sean Cleary said. “We felt we could come in here and exceed. Not equal our ranking. The team started a little slower than I would have liked. We knew this course was very difficult, and with the temperatures a little warm, we planned on getting off the line conservative.  “I am especially pleased with Ceili,” Cleary said. “Running within one second of an All-American position is outstanding for her first shot at this race. We simply need to go home and make the decision that we want to be a lot better at next year’s championships. Moments like this separate those who say they want to be good and those who become great. Time will tell.”  Redshirt sophomore Katherine Dowie was the Mountaineers’ second finisher on the day. She finished in 150th place in 21:51.7, just ahead of senior Hayley Jackson, who took 183rd in 22:12.4. Redshirt senior Antigone Archer finished 208th in 22:34.8, while redshirt sophomore Mikenna Vanderheyden earned a 228th-place finish in 22.51.9.

Additionally, freshman Petal Palmer (23.20.0) and redshirt junior Marianne Abdalah (23:38.2) took 245th and 247th place, respectively.  
West Virginia earned 668 team points at the NCAA Championships to take 29th place. BYU won the race with 96 points, while NC State (161) and Stanford (207) finished second and third, respectively. Michigan State (212) and Minnesota (239) rounded out the top five.  “My thinking is that we could have been a little further up the field in the first five minutes, Cleary said. “That would have made it a little easier to move through. A few of the ladies experienced unfortunate mishaps during the race, but at the end of the day, these things happen. This experience should be a good springboard into the track season. It should give the team confidence for when they get back on the line next fall.”

Monday’s meet marked the first time Oklahoma State has hosted the NCAA Championships. 

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