I just spent the last hour writing about how hard it is to win a national championship, then looked at ATQ and thought about how an Oregon team won a national championship this afternoon, and is nowhere to be found on the front page, except as an afterthought in a football gamethread. And that just isn't right.
The last time the Oregon women's cross country team won a national title, I was nine months old. For TrackTown USA, twenty-five years is a significant drought. But that dry spell ended Saturday in in Louisville, as Oregon took home the national title in women's cross country, the twentieth national championship in school history. Two-time NCAA indoor track champion Jordan Hasay led the Ducks, finishing third overall in the 6K race with a time of 19:28.6. Seniors Alexi Pappas and Katie Conlon were the next two Ducks across the line, both finishing in the top 40. Freshmen Allie Woodward (44th) and Annie LeBlanc (68th) rounded out the top five scoring runners for the Ducks. Freshmen Sarah Penney and Abbey Leonardi also competed, though finished outside the scoring results.
The result was not without controversy. Due to a recording error, many results, including Alexi Pappas', were not included in the initial results, and Providence was announced as the champion. Oregon, having already done their own math and concluded they had an easy win, protested the result. The error was found, the results were corrected, and the Ducks had the win.
Congratulations to the Ducks runners on a job well done!