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Women’s Cross Country Shines at NCAA Nationals

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crosscountryteam10Seniors Lucy van Dalen and Holly van Dalen, twin sisters from Wanganui, New Zealand, took sixth and seventh place, respectively, as the women’s cross-country team finished an impressive seventh at the 2010 NCAA women’s cross country national championships on November 22 at Indiana State University. By finishing among the top 40 individually, the twins are first-time All-Americans in cross country.

“We felt like there were 10 to 12 girls who could win it,” said Head Coach Andy Ronan. To have two runners from one team in the top 10 is fantastic. As for the team aspect, the girls just kept plugging away. Ten years ago we were 20th in the region, and today we’re seventh in the nation. I’m overjoyed.”

“The amount of support out there was just crazy,” said Lucy. “There’s not one part of the course that wasn’t packed with supporters. “It’s a bonus for us [Lucy and Holly] to do well today. It’s always exciting to do well individually, but when we both do well it’s even more exciting because we can enjoy it together. We feel so excited about this.”

Lucy and Holly led the women’s team to an impressive seventh-place finish, crossing ahead of the likes of national powers Providence, Syracuse, and Oregon.

“We prepared like any other race,” said Holly. “We just tried to chill out before the race. The atmosphere is so amazing. As for the wind, everyone was dealing with it, so you just gotta get tough and get through it.”

Lucy finished in a time of 20:19.2, followed by Holly at 20:19.3. Also finishing in the top 75 were sophomore Annie Keown (Auckland, New Zealand), who took 70th (20:19.1) and junior Hayley Green (Wellington, New Zealand) who placed 72nd (21:19.8).

Also competing for the Seawolves were freshman Olivia Burne (Palmerston North, New Zealand), junior Kristal Conklin (Middletown, New York), and senior Carolina Cortes (Woodmere, New York).

The sisters finished first and second in the NCAA regionals on November 13, with Lucy’s time of 19:38.4 edging Holly’s 19:42. The women’s cross country team as a whole placed second at regionals. Lucy was named the Northeast region women’s athlete of the year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Andy Ronan was named coach of the year.

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The van Dalens with Head Coach Andy Ronan

More About the van Dalens
Lucy is a sociology major with a minor in child family studies. This year she has won each of the four meets in which she competed, Notre Dame Invitational, Pre-National Meet, America East Championships, and NCAA Northeast Regional Championships. She is also a two-time America East Performer of the Week. After coming to Stony Brook, in both 2007 and 2008, she made the America East Fall Honor Roll. In 2009, she earned All-Region honors and won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships. She was named to the America East All-Conference and All-Academic teams and took third at the America East Championships.

Holly has a double major in sociology and English. This year she finished second behind her sister Lucy at America East Championships and the NCAA Regional Championships. She finished sixth and eighth, respectively, at the Notre Dame Invitational and Pre-National Meet. In 2007, Holly was named to the America East All-Conference team and the America East Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll. In 2008, she was named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, again to the America East All-Conference team, and also to the America East All-Academic team. She finished second at the America East Championship and earned the America East Cross Country Scholar-Athlete award and made the America East Fall Honor Roll.  Last year, she earned America East All-Conference and All-Academic honors, took second at the America East Championships, and earned All-Region honors, as well as placing second at the ECAC Championships.

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