Loretto, PA -- Pre-race favorite Central Connecticut State University won the 1998 Northeast Conference Women’s Cross Country title at the Immergrun Golf Course on the campus of Saint Francis College of Pennsylvania on Saturday.
The Lady Blue Devils won their first-ever women’s title by placing five runners in the top ten for a total of 23 points, easily outdistancing defending champion Saint Francis College of Pennsylvania (72). Monmouth University was third with 86 points, followed by Mount St. Mary’s College (156), Quinnipiac College (161), Long Island University (176), University of Maryland Baltimore County (182), Fairleigh Dickinson University (193), St. Francis College of New York (200), Wagner College (232) and Robert Morris College (262).
Central Connecticut junior Stephanie Johnson (Franklin, CT) out ran teammate and sophomore Heather Gardiner (Ontario, Canada) down the final 400 yards to win the individual title in a course-record time of 18:50.88 for 5000 meters. Gardiner finished second in 18:54.08. Freshman Leah Peiffer (New Providence, PA) of Mount St. Mary’s was third in 19:21.02, followed by Long Island’s Tanya Sotillo (Alpharetta, GA) in fourth (19:25.59). Central Connecticut’s Kimberly Heiligman (Cheshire, CT) and Shannon Lindberg (Southington, CT) were fifth and sixth in 19:37.51 and 19:43.26, respectively, while Roberta Pickens (Cranberry Township, PA) was seventh in 19:54.91. Quinnipiac’s Lindsay Holmes (East Hampton, CT), Central Connecticut’s Katie Lerz (Woolcott, CT) and Long Island’s Pilar Olivares (Bronx, NY) rounded out the top ten in eighth (19:59.66), ninth (20:00.16) and tenth-place (20:30.50), respectively.