NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Iona College women’s cross country team achieved its highest national ranking in eight years, appearing on the Nov. 4 USTFCCA NCAA Division I Cross Country National Coaches Poll for the first time this season at No. 17. Following a dominating performance at the 2014 MAAC Championship, the Gaels jumped 14 spots from the previous poll, in addition to its No. 1 ranking in the Northeast Region.
The Gaels were led at the MAAC Championship by 2013 All-American Kate Avery, who won the individual crown by 1:42. Avery was joined in the Top 10 in the event by graduate students Tara Jameson (2nd), Rosie Clarke (3rd) and Melissa Hawtin (5th) along with senior Marlene Delices (9th). The team score of 20 extended the national’s longest conference championship streak to 10 while achieving the fourth-lowest school in the meet’s history.
The Maroon & Gold began its climb up the national and regional rankings with its strong performance at the Wisconsin Invitational. Iona was the second highest non-ranked finisher at the meet at 22nd overall while competing without Avery.
The Gaels compete at the 2014 NCAA Northeast Regional Championship next Friday (Nov. 14) at Van Cortlandt Park as they vie for just the second ever team appearance at the NCAA meet and first since 2006.