CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Husky women’s cross country team earned its best national finish since the 2011 season this morning, running to eighth-place at the NCAA Championships with a huge final kilometer surge. The Huskies went from 14th to 8th in the final 1K to cap off a terrific 2023 season that included a Pac-12 team title.
Washington came into the meet at Panorama Farms in Virginia ranked 10th nationally, and outperformed that seeding by two spots. The Dawgs finished as the top team out of the Pac-12, and the West Region, and for good measure, the Big Ten as well.
At the 5,000-meter split, the Huskies were 14th overall, but climbed impressively over the final kilometer, dropping 35 points off their team score to move up six spots. No other team improved more than three places over the final 1K.
Washington’s top-three finishers all came in within eight seconds of each other. Chloe Foerster led the Huskies in 47th-place in 20:09, then Sophie O’Sullivan was 56th in 20:16, and Julia David-Smith was 58th in 20:17.
— Washington Track & Field and Cross Country (@UWTrack) November 18, 2023
Ella Borsheim came up huge today placing 119th overall in 20:48, and India Weir capped the scoring in 140th-place in 20:56. Naomi Smith finished 189th and Tori Herman was 210th.
Over the final 1K, Foerster moved up 12 places, O’Sullivan moved up nine places, David-Smith moved up nine places, Borsheim moved up 17 places, and Weir moved up five places.
“The girls were super tough,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Maurica Powell. “It’s the most chaotic race in all of track and cross country with the number of people and how condensed it is. Sophie, Chloe and Julia were fantastic. They were together most of the race. They were the difference in us going from 14th to 8th. The race plan was to really run well over the last 1,000 and run the last 200 like a track race.
“Ella really clutched up for us,” Powell said of Borsheim. “She missed two weeks with a little injury and was able to come back and get it together for us. It’s a hard thing when your race plan is to try and get in the top-100. It’s not a glamorous job but she did it.”
NC State won its third-straight team championship with 123 points, followed…