Caroline Cretti, Williams College
Caroline Cretti (Carbondale, Colo.), an American Studies major, was an Academic All-NESCAC and Second Team District One academic selection in track and one of the conference's top all-time runners – male or female.
“Caroline is without a doubt the top female distance runner to compete at Williams,” assistant track and field coach and head coach of women’s cross country Peter Farwell said, “and the most consistent of any (male or female) in terms of training and racing at the highest level every season. She graduates with more school track records (5), All-American awards (15) and individual national titles (3) than any Eph distance runner ever."
In the fall of 2005, as a senior on the cross-country team, Cretti placed sixth individually at the NCAA championship race. Over four years, Cretti ran to top six finishes at the NCAAs three times. The Ephs won two NCAA titles in that span — 2002 and 2004 — while finishing second in 2005.
Cretti was the first woman to win the Division III New England title in cross-country all four years and won the NESCAC championship race three of her four years.
She was All-NESCAC four times in cross country and three times in outdoor track and field — the only time she did not earn the qualification was in May 2006, when she skipped the NESCAC meet to take part in the prestigious Penn Relays. Facing mostly accomplished Division I runners, Cretti won the 10,000-meter run.
At the 2006 NCAA Championships she completed the tough double of winning both the 5,000 and 10,000, giving her three NCAA titles in three months.
“A wonderful captain of both track and cross country teams as a senior, the likes of Caroline will probably not be seen again,” Farwell said. “These four years will in some sense be known as the 'Cretti Era' in New England running circles."
After taking the summer of 2006 off Cretti will move to North Carolina to join Zap Fitness in an attempt to improve her chances at becoming an Olympian.
Farwell, for one, is not putting the Olympics out of Cretti’s reach.
“Continuing her career with Zap Fitness club will no doubt take her to new levels and achievements,” he said. “She will be fast on the track, stronger than ever in cross country races, and will make a mark very quickly in both trail racing and road races. She has an excellent combination of speed, endurance, and is phenomenal on hills. It will be fun and exciting to follow her development."