Legassie Caps Stellar Season with All-American Run at Nationals
Name of Meet: USCAA National Championships
Host: Paul Smith's College, Lake Placid, New York
Course description: Very hilly, frozen with snow and ice, unsure footing in spots.
Course distance: 6K
Conditions: Sunny and 40o
Kayla Legassie 7th of 144 at 25:31 (First Team All-American)
Nicole Green 29th at 26:29
Kati Christoffel 35th at 26:43
Carly Langley 77th at 28:59
Ghaz sailors 80th at 29:18
On a course with rougher than usual footing and terrain requiring many changing of tactics, the Owls women finished well into the top half of the field in this national championship. With 17 teams and 144 finishers, the UMPI contingent placed seventh overall, paced by three solid performances in the top 35. First year runner Kayla Legasse (Presque Isle, ME) may be a rookie but she ran like a veteran in following her strategy of "first 2.5 miles with the head and the rest with the heart". Well positioned in 13th place at the mile, Legassie followed her plan and moved to a top 10 position going into the second loop of the 6K course. With a half mile to go she was in seventh spot, the last First Team All-American position, and never looked back. Her time of 25:31 earned her the honor, 1.6 seconds ahead of the first second team all-American. The winning time was posted by four time national champion Stephanie Runyon, in at 24:11. Southern Virginia repeated as team winners. Also a first year runner, Nicole Green (Caribou, ME) posted an anchoring second runner score of 25 (29th overall) and was followed by Kati Christoffel (Clifton Park, NY) in 35th, Carly Langley (Truro, NS) in 77th, and Ghaz Sailors (Santa Barbara, CA) in 80th.
Coach Smith's comments:
"These women gave it everything today. Our goal was to finish in the top half of the field and to perform as well as possible individually as the process to get there. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with such a positive group of young women."