Women's cross country runners qualify for NCAA championship

Women's cross country runners qualify for NCAA championship

Hamilton College's Hanna Jerome '18 (Englewood, N.J./Dwight-Englewood School) and Grace Heller '19 (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield HS) earned invitations to the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country Championship on Sunday, Nov. 12 when the NCAA announced the team and individual qualifiers.

NCAA championship selection announcement

The championship meet is at Principia College's North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Illinois, on Saturday, Nov. 18. The women's race is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. local time (1:15 in New York). The last Hamilton women's cross country runner in the NCAA championship was Michelle Fish '17 in 2015.

Jerome and Heller are two of 56 individuals -- the first seven student-athletes who are not part of a qualifying team from each of the eight regions -- selected to participate in the championship. Thirty-two teams were selected to participate in the championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each region on Saturday, Nov. 11 for a total of 16 teams. Sixteen additional teams were selected at-large on Sunday.

The Continentals competed in the 2017 NCAA Division III Atlantic Region Women's Cross Country Championship at Houghton College's Field of Dreams in Houghton, N.Y., on Saturday afternoon. Jerome finished in 12th place out of 285 runners with a personal-record time of 22:24.6 on the 6-kilometer course, and Heller was close behind in 15th place and a time of 22:36.2.