October 31, 2009

Navarre places first at NCAC Championship

Denison junior Katie Navarre (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) edged out two-time defending champion, Joanna Johnson of Oberlin to win the 2009 North Coast Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Championship from Liberty Park in Powell, Ohio.  As a team, the Big Red placed seventh overall.

Navarre and Johnson went back and forth throughout the race and the two rivals would be separated by just three seconds when the 6K race was complete.  Navarre finished with a time of 22:09.9 and Johnson came in at 22:12.3 to become the third Denison runner in conference history to earn an individual championship.  The previous Denison winners were Julie Hufnagel in 2004 and Christine Collins in 2005.

Following Navarre was senior Kelsey Pence (Columbus, Ind./Columbus North) who turned in a time of 25:55.7 to place 43rd overall.  She was followed by Ashley Putnam (North East, Pa./North East) who took 46th place with her time of 26:12.6.  Denison's scoring was rounded out by freshman Anne McGinty (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) who finished in 26:19.1 and Ani Mutafova (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) who crossed in 26:23.3.

Navarre was named the NCAC's Runner of the Year while Oberlin took home the team title thanks to four, top-8 finishes.  Wittenberg placed second with 76 points and Allegheny took third with 82.

Denison will compete in two weeks at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship in Terre Haute, Ind.