TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology senior Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery will be part of the 369-runner field in Saturday’s NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Championships at Hanover College.
The women’s 6,000-kilometer race is set to being at 11 a.m. at Hanover College’s campus course, followed by the men’s 8K race at 12:30 p.m.
Montgomery (Lafayette, La./Episcopal School of Acadiana) enters the race as just the second female in Rose-Hulman history to qualify for the national meet, a week after breaking her own school record time en route to a third-place finish at the Great Lakes Regional Nov. 16 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The senior broke her own record by 16 seconds to finish third at regionals with a time of 21 minutes, 44 seconds. The placing was the highest finish at the meet by a Rose-Hulman female in school history.
The last time an Engineers’ runner qualified for the women’s national meet was when Rachel Krasich finished 11th overall at the regional meet in 2007. She went on to finish 138th (23:15) in the national meet.
Montgomery has steadily improved her times all season, as she set her previous school record (22:00) at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships, when she won just the second conference championship in program history. Her best time in 2012 – 24:50 -- was over three minutes slower than her current school record.
Montgomery set an 83-second personal-best on Hanover’s course back on Oct. 5 at the Pre-National meet with a time of 23:27, to place 24th overall in the 228-runner field.
While Montgomery marks just the second female in Rose-Hulman cross country history to race at the national meet, four men have qualified, the last in 2010 when Tyler Kreipke placed 119th overall.
Joining Kreipke on the men’s side are Chris Wilson (55th in 1990), Mike O’Brien (20th, 1981), and Dennis Dierckman (19th in 1974 NAIA national meet).
Both Dierckman and O’Brien earned All-American honors, the only runners to do so in RHIT cross country history.