Portions courtesy Princeton Athletic Communications
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Princeton women's cross country team finished 15th at the 2010 NCAA Championships with an All-America finish by junior Alex Banfich.
Despite 30 mph wind gusts down the final sprint on LaVerne Gibson Championship Course, Banfich managed to outrun her time from last season. She finished 20th overall with a time of 20:36, 22 seconds faster than her finish from 2009. Her finish also garners her her first All-America honors in cross country. Banfich last earned All-America honors in May in the 5000. She becomes the fifth Tiger to earn All-America honors at Princeton following Kristin Beaney, Cack Ferrell, Emily Kroshus and Liz Costello.
Senior co-captains Sarah Cummings and Ashley Higginson finished just seven seconds apart from each other. Cummings crossed the line at 21:03 for 57th place overall and Higginson followed at 21:10 to take 74th place overall.
Sophomores Abby Levene and Alexis Mikaelian were the final two scorers. Levene ran a 22:05 and Mikaelian covered the course in 22:14.
Freshman Theresa Devine finished sixth for the Tigers at 22:28, followed by sophomore Mel Newbery at 23:53.
Columbia sophomore Caroline Donough narrowly missed All-American status, placing 43rd overall in a time of 20:54. Also competing as an individual, Cornell freshman Devin McMahon wrapped up a sellar rookie season by finishing 98th overall in 21.20.
Villanova's Sheila Reid led the Wildcats to its second straight national title. Villanova earned 120 points while Florida State had 154 to take second, followed by Texas Tech third with 165. Reid finished at 20:07 as the individual national champion.
Princeton entered the race ranked No. 25 in the national poll and exceeded expectations. The Tigers finished ahead of 10 teams that were ranked higher than they in the poll, including: No. 4 Washington, No. 13 Virginia, No. 16 Michigan State, No. 17 Michigan, No. 19 Oklahoma State, No. 20 Boston College, No. 21 Duke, No. 22 Minnesota, No. 23 Penn State and No. 24 Texas.
The Tigers have finished in the top 15 six times in the last seven years and seven times in history.
Ivy League Finishers
20. Alex Banfich, Princeton, 20:36
43. Caroline Donough, Columbia, 20:42
57. Sarah Cummings, Princeton, 21:03
74. Ashley Higginson, Princeton, 21:10
98. Devin McMahon, Cornell, 21:20
179. Abby Levene, Princeton, 22:05
195. Alexis Mikaelian, Princeton, 22:14
212. Theresa Devine, Princeton, 22:28
249. Mel Newbery, Princeton, 23:53