Recap: 2021 NCAA DIII Cross Country Championships

Champions were crowned on Saturday at the 2021 NCAA DIII Cross Country Championships!

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The meet was held at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky!

Keep reading below to find out what happened in the Bluegrass State.

2021 NCAA DIII Cross Country Championships – Final Standings

Men’s Team
Score
Women’s Team
Score
No. 3 Pomona-Pitzer
80
No. 1 Johns Hopkins
130
No. 2 MIT
112
No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
132
No. 4 Williams
167
No. 8 SUNY Geneseo
168
No. 7 John Carroll
179
No. 3 Wartburg
179
No. 8 UW-Whitewater
201
No. 4 Washington (Mo.)
200

Men’s 8k Championship

Pomona-Pitzer finally got a chance to defend its title.

The Sagehens, who topped the podium the last time the NCAA DIII Championships were held, weren’t about to let that chance slip away. Pomona-Pitzer cruised to the team title on Saturday at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park for the second time in the past three years (The Sagehens won back in 2019, which was the last year the meet was held before the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation last year).

Pomona-Pitzer ran as a pack, using a meager 15.2-second spread between their No. 1 and No. 5 runners and put up 80 points. Colin Kirkpatrick led the Sagehens in 10th place, while Derek Fearon (12th) and Lucas Florsheim (14th) weren’t too far behind. Ethan Widlansky (24th) and Dante Paszkeicz (30th) rounded out the top-5 for Pomona-Pitzer.

The form chart held true at least for the next place, which was where second-ranked MIT finished. The Engineers went 12-23-24-25-28 for 112 points, 32 more than the champion Sagehens. MIT’s top runner was Sam Acquaviva in 12th place, while its second through fifth runners all crossed the finish line within 3.2 seconds of each other.

No. 4 Williams (third, 167 points) and No. 7 John Carroll (fourth, 179 points) also finished on the podium, while No. 8 UW-Whitewater took fifth with 201 points. Each of those three teams had at least one top-10 individual finisher.

Alex Phillip of John Carroll won the individual title in 23:27.6, 2.7 seconds faster than Elias Lindgren of Williams (23:30.3). Henry Pick of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps took third in 23:40.4, followed by Aidan Ryan of Williams (23:42.8) and Simon Heys of Wilmington (Ohio) (23:57.0) in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Women’s 6k Championship

Drama unfolded in a big way on Saturday.

It came down to the wire between No. 1 Johns Hopkins and No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps – just the way the final edition of the NCAA DIII Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll drew it up.

When the dust settled – and five runners were scored (remember that) – the reigning champion Blue Jays defended their title, as they squeaked past the Athenas, 130-132. JHU made history, tying SUNY Cortland for the most team titles by a women’s program in NCAA DIII history (seven).

CMS actually held a commanding lead through four runners at 66-84, but that’s why cross country is scored out to the fifth. JHU’s Dianna Vizza put pressure on the leaders with her finish in the 46th scoring position and without an Athena in sight, the wait was on. Ultimately, that wait proved too long, as the Blue Jays brought home their record-tying seventh crown.

No. 8 SUNY Geneseo finished third with 162 points, while No. 3 Wartburg also notched a podium finish in fourth with 179 points. No. 4 Washington (Mo.) was fifth with 200 points.

Kassie Parker of Loras won the individual title in 20:11.1, 17.5 seconds ahead of runner-up Ari Marks of Wellesley in 20:28.6. Danielle Page of Tufts finished third in 20:30.1, followed by Evie Butlemeyer of Trine (20:43.7) and Fiona Smith of St. Benedict (20:58.4) in fourth and fifth, respectively.