Grace Ends Outstanding Cross Country Career at NCAA Champs
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Senior Allison Grace capped off her Wildcat cross country career Monday with a 118th place finish at the NCAA Championships held at LaVern Gibson Championships Course. The meet marked the second consecutive postseason appearance for the Marble Cliff, Ohio native.
With temperatures in the low 40's at race time, Grace got off to a good start, running with the first wave of runners for the first 2,000 meters.
“I would have liked to have run a bit better today,” Grace said. “My legs were a little heavy, but it was a great experience. It was really special to run with that many fans and great runners. I am really looking forward to the indoor track season.”
At the half-way point, Grace held strong in the middle of the pack and finished the 6,000 meter course in 21:17. 253 women participated in the race.
Stanford upset No. 1 Duke to win the women’s team title. The Cardinal won on the strength of three runners in the top 20. Colorado finished second with 181 points followed by Duke with 185. Northern Arizona’s Johanna Nilsson won the individual title with a time of 19:14.
Wisconsin won the men’s team title in dominating fashion, placing all five runners in the top 15. The Badgers’ Simon Bairu won his second consecutive individual crown, winning by 50 meters in a time of 29:16 (10K).
For Grace, the meet finalized a tremendous cross country career. Grace earned All-SEC honors three times, All-Region twice and reach the back-to-back championship meets. Grace also crossed the finish line first for the Cats in the last 12 races dating back to last season.
Grace will finish her UK racing career by focusing on the 5,000 meters for the indoor track season. Grace had already completed her outdoor eligibility.
For Kentucky, the cross country season is now complete. The indoor tracks season begins Jan. 13th when UK hosts the Kentucky Invitational.