Women’s Cross Country: Five Time Champions!

Dahlberg’s First Place Finish Catapults Dons to Fifth Consecutive WCC Championship

     On a beautiful Saturday morning in Malibu, Calif., the Dons rolled to their fifth straight West Coast Conference title in fashion. Heading into to the meet ranked 17th in the nation, the Dons were met with big expectations, and meet them they did.USF dominated the 6,000-meter race right from the get-go, as graduate student Bridget Dahlberg and senior Maor Tiyouri were in first and third by the first split. Dahlberg went on to place first in the field with a time of 20:55, while Tiyouri crossed the finish line with time of 21:20, which was good for sixth place.Other Dons dominated the field as well, with four USF runners placing in the top 10. Redshirt seniors Sophie Curl and Eva Krchova finished in eighth and tenth place, respectively, and were awarded First Team All-WCC honors along with Dahlberg and Tiyouri. Junior Kate Jamboretz was an All-WCC Honorable Mention. The win was the culmination of the hard work that had been put into the regular season, and was something for players and coaches to relish in.

“Obviously, it’s really exciting to win our fifth, and it doesn’t really seem like that many,” head coach Helen Lehman-Winters told USFDons.com. “It all goes so fast. We came into the championships knowing that this was a really important meet for us. Winning five is really all about the people we have in our program and the standards that they’ve set. I attribute this success to them.”

Even as the day was clearly a successful one for the Dons, it wasn’t completely free from suspense. Trailing Portland’s Laura Hottenrott into the final stretch of the match, Dalhberg surged to a comfortable lead, and it looked as if the Dons were headed towards a certain victory. However, Hottenrott would come back to regain the lead and come dangerously close to taking first place. But digging deep, Dahlberg used her final kick to surge into the top spot, and ended up beating out Hottenrott by three seconds.

“I just think the team had a great performance today and nothing stops momentum. This is a great start before [regionals],” Dahlberg told TheW.tv’s Amanda Blackwell.

With the win, the Dons find themselves in a groove heading into the NCAA West Regionals, which will take place on Nov. 15 at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento, Calif.

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