EVANSVILLE, Ind. — University of California San Diego women’s senior cross country runner Ella Verhees (San Diego/Point Loma HS) finished off her collegiate career by placing 158th out of 247 participants at the 2017 NCAA Division II Championships Saturday morning at Angel Mounds.
Verhees crossed the finish line of the 6K competition in 23-minutes, 8.9-seconds, as she was the only UC San Diego runner to qualify for the national meet. Due to the threat of inclement weather, the race was moved up earlier in the morning and began at 8:30 a.m. CT (6:30 a.m. PT).
Alaska Anchorage senior Caroline Kurgat, who was also the West Region champion, placed first to win the national championship with a time of 20:32.3. Walsh University junior Sarah Berger finished second (20:52.1) and Cal State San Marcos senior Natalie Rodriguez took third (20:53.7).
Adams State won the national championship as a team, finishing with 126 points. The University of Mary took second (137) and Cal Baptist was third (148).
Verhees qualified for the NCAA Championships as an at-large selection after finishing ninth (21:30.4) at the NCAA West Regional, en route to earning All-West Region honors. In the process, the senior San Diego native became the first Triton to qualify for the national meet as an individual since 2008.
An All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) performer, Verhees finished 11th overall (21:36.6) at the conference meet on Oct. 21. She was also named CCAA Runner of the Week on Oct. 9, two days after finishing first among all collegiate runners (22:08.3) at UC San Diego’s Triton Classic.
In addition, Verhees finished first among all Triton women runners in six-consecutive meets to end the season leading up to the NCAA Championships. Below is a list of Verhees’ times for every meet she competed in this season:
NCAA Championships: 23:8.9
NCAA West Regional: 21:30.4
CCAA Championships: 21:36.6
UC San Diego Triton Classic: 22:08.3
Capital Cross Challenge: 22:03.3
Roy Griak Invitational: 23:8.2
USD Invitational: 22:25
Cal Baptist Lancer Invite (4K): 15:22.6