Hulton, Saints Win NYSCTC Cross Country Titles
St. Lawrence University senior Jenna Hulton led from start to finish of the 2011 New York State Collegiate Track Conference Cross Country Championship on the Ronald C. Hoffmann Cross Country Course Saturday morning, and her Saint team won its fourth straight team title.
Hulton won her second career NYSCTC championship and recorded her fourth straight top four finish. She was fourth and the top rookie in 2008, won the 2009 championship and was second last year. She ran the soggy and muddy 5000 meter course in 18:48, finishing with a 13-second lead on Ithaca's Heidi Baumbach, who was second in 19:01. Her time was the sixth best in course history despite the less than ideal running conditions.
The Saints clinched the team title by placing five in the top nine. Sophomore Amy Cymerman was fourth in 19:12, junior Jackie Lemme fifth in 19:23 and Hulton's younger sister Megan was the top rookie finisher in the meet with a sixth place finish in 19:27. Saint senior McKayla Nuffer completed the Saint team scoring with a eighth place finish in 19:30.
The Saints, third in the region and ranked 12th nationally finished with 24 points with Ithaca second with 56 points, Rochester third with 86 and RPI fourth with 109 in a 10-team field.
"The girls ran an excellent race," said Saint coach Mike Howard. "We wanted to win it for the fourth straight year of course, but we talked prior to the race about some team goals and individual times, and we met all of those goals.
"Our top five gap has really tightened up, and that is not a bad way to start the championship portion of our season," said Howard.
Other Saint finishers in Saturday's race included junior Erika Nuffer, who was 14th in 20:05 and rookie Anne Martino, who completed the Saint top seven in 18th in 20:16. Caroline raue was 28th in 20:33, Diedre Beller was 32nd in 20:42, Toria Koutras was 36th in 20:45, and Abbie Macbeth was 49th and Katie Mannix 50th, both timed in 21:02.
The Saints follow Saturday's NYSCTC Championship with the Liberty League Championships at Vassar next weekend and host the NCAA Atlantic Regional on Nov. 12.