Oneonta State senior Danielle Kennedy earned All-America honors with a 19th-place finish Saturday in the NCAA Division III cross country championships at Hanover College in Indiana.
Kennedy’s performance helped the Red Dragons to a 25th-place finish with 579 points.
“Although this is an amazing way to end my cross country career, I am even more proud of my teammates and coach,” Kennedy said in a media release by O-State. “Our ability to remain focused on this trip was obvious and we have proven ourselves to be one of the top teams in the country. I think I speak for all of the women when I say that we are so glad to be Red Dragons.”
The top 35 runners earned All-America honors. Kennedy’s finish at nationals is the highest by an O-State runner, regardless of gender. She became the first O-State runner to be an All-American.
She was also the first female from the SUNY Athletic Conference to cross, edging out Rachel Malone of Brockport, who placed 20th.
Kennedy completed the 6,000-meter course in 21 minutes, 48.7 seconds. Malone finished a second behind Kennedy.
“Obviously this has been a very exciting season for the women’s cross country program at Oneonta,” Red Dragons coah Angelo Posillico said in the media release. “Danielle Kennedy concluded her cross country career as an All-American, the first for the program.”
The Red Dragons’ previous best finish at nationals for a female came in 1989, when Susan Lee placed 54th. On the men’s side, Jim Dever placed 22nd in the 1968 NCAA College Division championship and Jack Callacci was 45th in the 1975 NCAA Division III championship.
The six women who rounded out O-State’s squad Saturday were freshmen Mary Kate Bida, Elizabeth Chichester and Samantha Wilks, sophomore Alyssa Drapeau, and juniors Marielle Genovesi and Jaclyn Masucci.