Cross Country All-America Teams Announced by USTFCCCA
NEW ORLEANS – For winning the NCAA cross country championship this past Saturday, sophomore Chiara Del Piccolo of Williams earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Women's Athlete of the Year for the 2011 cross country season.
A sophomore from Basalt, Colo., Del Piccolo took the national crown in 20:52.1, five seconds ahead of nearest challenger Christy Cazzola of UW-Oshkosh. Del Piccolo was part of the led pack throughout the race, but only overtook the lead in the final 1000 meters.
The last athlete from the NESCAC to win a national women's cross country title was Jessica Caley of Williams in 1995.
Part of a four-meet winning streak, Piccolo also took the win at the NCAA New England Regional by 14 seconds. In addition, Del Piccolo won the NESCAC championship this past October.
Del Piccolo was also one of 10 NESCAC runners to earn All-America, which is based on overall finish at the NCAA championships. The top 35 individuals from both men's and women's races receive All-America recognition from the USTFCCCA.
The NESCAC and UAA led all conferences with five men's athletes taking All-America honors, while on the women's side the NESCAC was second to the UAA with five harriers earning accolades.
Garnering All-America was Bates sophomore Tully Hannan, Coby Horowitz of Bowdoin, NESCAC champion Michael Schmidt of Middlebury, Tufts junior Matt Rand, and Bryan Marsh of Wesleyan. All five received All-America for the first time in their careers. Horowitz was the top NESCAC runner in the men's race, as the sophomore placed 13th out of 279 with a time of 24:30.55. Rand came in 19th (24:36.12) while Schmidt (24:38.70) edged Hannan (24:39.12) for 26th. Marsh made the cut, taking 35th place in 24:47.02.
Joining Del Piccolo of Williams in receiving All-America were Amherst junior Keri Lambert, the Middlebury tandem of Margo Cramer and Addie Tousley, and the Ephs' Alison Smith. The senior Cramer took fifth with a time of 21:05.97, almost two seconds better than junior teammate Tousley (21:07.41), who came in sixth. Lambert of Amherst finished the day in eighth place in a time of 21:12.68, while Smith, a first year member of the Williams team, placed 33rd in 21:42.03.
Tousley's selection gave her multiple All-America honors. She previously received recognition in 2009 with a 27th-place performance at the NCAA championship.