Posted: Saturday, 17 November 2012 3:24PM

Dolan Finishes 43rd in NCAA-II Women Cross Country Championships



Joplin, MO (Drury Sports Information)  -- The amazing story this fall of Drury graduate student Erin Dolan came up just short of All-America status on Saturday, as the former Panthers' swimming star finished 43rd in the NCAA-II Women's Cross Country Championships held on the Missouri Southern State University Course.

Dolan, a 16-time swimming All-American using her fifth year of eligiblity in giving cross country a try for the first time, fell just three slots shy of earning All-America status in a second sport with her time of 21 minutes. 27.1 seconds. (Top 40 finishers are considered cross country All-Americans).
 
Dolan was out among the top 10 or 15 runners for more than the first half of the 6,000-meter race, but tired down the stretch to finish 43rd, just under four seconds out of 40th place.

Alicia Nelson, a senior from Adams State, won the race in 20:03.3, nine seconds ahead of runner-up Susan Tanui of Alaska-Anchorage (20:12.6).

Dolan ran the first half in 10:37.4, which was faster than 17 runners who would eventually finish ahead of her, posting a 10:.49.7 split in the second half.

Nevertheless, her time was 11 seconds faster than her previous best, set two weeks ago in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional in Somers, Wis.

"I think I thought I was in the Top 20 there for the first half, which is where I thought I could be," Dolan said. "I went out really hard, and the first half I felt fine. The last mile was a really big struggle. Those girls who have been running this forever had that late kick, and I just didn't have that today. My legs were gone.

"The last mile there were three or four girls who passed me, and it was really hard, because I'm such a competitor, knowing I couldn't go anymore. But it was an awesome experience. It was such an honor to be racing at a national level in my first year and having my (Drury) team there to support me. It was definitely a learning experience."

Grand Valley State captured the team championship with 101 points, edging out runner-up Augustana (104) and third-place Adams State (109). Great Lakes Valley Conference members Southern Indiana and Bellarmine finished 16th and 19th, respectively.

Dolan finished fourth among GLVC individual runners in nationals, with Bellarmine's Angela Musk (12th) and Emily Frith (31st) and Parkside's Jessica Watychowicz crossing ahead of her.

Adams State won the D-II men's team title with 34 points, well ahead of runner-up Colorado School of Mines (102) and third-place Alaska-Anchorage (148). Senior Micah Chelimo of Anchorage was the individual champion of the 10,000-meter race in 28:56.6.

NCAA-II Women's Championship Results

NCAA-II Men's Championship Results

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