MEDFORD – The Tufts University women's cross country team opens up its 2019 season on Saturday at Bates with a long-term goal of qualifying for the NCAA Championship Race once again.
Last season, the Jumbos earned their sixth straight NCAA Championship berth after receiving an at-large bid following a fifth-place finish at the NCAA New England Regional Championship. Tufts posted a 12th place finish at Nationals, extending their string of top 20 finishes to six.
Senior co-captains Nicole Kerrigan and Rhemi Toth lead the Jumbos into a new season. Kerrigan scored for Tufts at the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association Championship last fall. Toth. who was an indoor track All-American in the mile (4:55) last season, was injured for the cross country season. Classmate Ann Roberts is also one of the top returnees to the 2019 team.
Olivia Martin, Melissa Rowland and Johanna Ross are the leading juniors. Ross scored for the Jumbos at the 2017 NCAA Championship where the team's seventh-place finish was the second-best ever by the program.
Sophomore Anna Slager is back after a strong freshman season. She finished the six-kilometer NCAA Championship race with a time of 22:51, which scored for the Jumbos. She was also in the top 30 at the New England Small College Athletic Conference meet and top 35 in the NEICAAA meet. Sophomore Danielle Page, who ran 21st at Williams' Purple Valley Classic before she was injured last fall, is another key returnee.
To this returning core the Jumbos have added a freshman class of 10 harriers.
Tufts enters its season ranked third in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association New England Region rankings and 11th nationally.
Head coach Kristen Morwick Previews the Season ...