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Local Sports

November 18, 2013

Oneonta women run into NCAAs

Staff Report

If it feels like the first time, that’s because it is.

The Oneonta State women’s cross country team received one of 16 at-large berths for the NCAA Division III Championships, which are set for this Saturday in Hanover, Ind.

The Red Dragons’ first NCAA berth in program history follows their fifth-place team finish this past Saturday during the NCAA D-III Atlantic Region Championships at Letchworth State Park. The fifth marked Oneonta’s best regional finish and came two weeks after the Red Dragons placed a program-best second two weeks earlier at the SUNY Athletic Conference Championships.

“After arguably the longest 24-hour wait of their lives, the women’s cross country team is thrilled to find out they will be heading to Indiana,” fourth-year O-State coach Angelo Posillico said in a media release from the college. “These women have truly earned this opportunity and I never get tired of saying how proud I am of them.”

Senior Danielle Kennedy will lead Oneonta into the NCAAs. She completed the women’s 6-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 31 seconds — 24 seconds off the winning time of Rensselaer’s Grace Tilton — to place sixth overall. Kennedy’s sixth set a program record at the regional meet, finishing three spots better than Kaitlin O’Sullivan did in 2006.

O-State also received four other top-51 finishes as junior Marielle Genovesi placed 32nd in 22:32, sophomore Alyssa Drapeau finished 42nd in 22:44, freshman Mary Kate Bida took 46th in 22:47, and junior Jaclyn Masucci was 51st in 22:52.

Freshman Samantha Wilks (92nd, 23:34) and senior Allison Ryley (157th, 24:32) rounded out the Red Dragons’ top-seven finishes.

Kennedy and Genovesi earned All-Region honors for O-State, which will be one of 32 teams in the NCAA field. Team champion NYU and runner-up St. Lawrence automatically qualified as the Atlantic Region’s top-two teams.

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