BETHLEHEM, Pa. --  Senior Lindsay Prettyman returned to top form and the results showed Friday afternoon as the University of Delaware women’s cross country team recorded an eighth place team finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals at Lehigh University.

Prettyman, who has been the Blue Hens’ top runner the last three years but was unable to finish the race at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships two weeks ago, turned in a 20th place finish in a highly competitive field to lead the Blue Hens to their best team finish since the 2009 season. Prettyman covered the six kilometer course in a time of 20:48.

With her finish, Prettyman now qualifies for the NCAA Division I Championships to be held on Nov. 23 at Indiana State’s Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. She becomes only the fourth women’s runner in UD history to qualify for the NCAA Championships and the first since Kim Mitchell competed at the 1984 meet.

Delaware, ranked 12th in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Coaches poll, also improved two spots from last year’s 10th place finish. Prettyman, who placed 53rd a year ago at the race, became the first Delaware runner to finish in the Top 20 at the regional meet since Colleen O’Brien was 14th in 2005.
“The ladies ran with heart today,” said Delaware head coach Wendy McFarlane. “They all had personal best performances. It was such a pleasure to watch the Fightin’ Blue Hens as they came across the finish line. We were a team on the course today, everyone exercised confidence and you could see the determination as they closed the gaps for a strong finish.

“Lindsay took her bad moment at the CAA meet and turned it into a incredible moment today,” continued McFarlane. “ I am so very pleased of everyone's effort and for Lindsay to endure and use her mental and physical strength to prove that hard work and dedication does pay off in the end. I am so very proud. I also want acknowledge (Assistant Coach) Tim Brock for all the work that he put in this season. Having him on the staff has made a huge difference.”

In addition to Prettyman, Delaware’s Emily Gispert was 50th (21:28), Alyssa Kennedy was 54th (21:29), Katrina Steenkamer was 68th (21:43), Nicole Daly was 78th (21:52), Meredith Steenkamer was 101st (22:16), and Michele Lambert placed 122nd (22:41).

Villanova won the overall team title with 31 points, edging Georgetown by four points for the title. Penn State, West Virginia, Princeton, Penn, Duquesne, Delaware, host Lehigh, and Navy rounded out the top 10. Villanova’s Emily Lipari won the individual title, covering the course in a time of 19:53.


Final Team Standings: 1. Villanova - 31; 2. Georgetown - 35; 3. Penn State - 92; 4. West Virginia - 124; 5. Princeton - 135; 6. Penn - 181; 7. Duquesne - 240; 8. Delaware - 270; 9. Lehigh - 277; 10. Navy - 369......29. New Jersety Institute - 868.

Top 10 Finishers: 1. Emily Lipari (Villanova), 19:53; 2. Nicky Akande (Villanova), 19:53; 3. Samantha Nadel (Georgetown), 20:09; 4. Angel Piccirillo (Villanova), 20:10; 5. Megan Curham (Princeton), 20:13; 6. Madeline Chambers (Georgetown), 20:13; 7. Rachel Schneider (Georgetown), 20:15; 8. Stephanie Schappert (Villanova), 20:17; 9. Annamarie Maag (Georgetown), 20:20; 10. Katrina Cogan (Georgetown), 20:21.

Delaware Finishers: 20. Lindsay Prettyman, 20:48; 2. 50. Emily Gispert, 21:28; 54. Alyssa Kennedy, 21:29; 68. Katrina Steenkamer, 21:43; 78. Nicole Daly, 21:52; 101. Meredith Steenkamer, 22:16;  122. Michele Lambert, 22:41.