Gong takes regional title, leading cross country to 4th finish

MIT will compete in NCAA championship next

MIT’s Maryann M. Gong ’17 won the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship on Saturday and helped the Engineers to a fourth place overall finish. Gong finished with a time of 21:36.3, which was nearly nine seconds faster than the second place finisher.

MIT, ranked No. 3 in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), placed fourth overall at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship on Saturday afternoon at Harkness Park.

As announced by the NCAA on Sunday, MIT earned an at-large bid to the Division III Championship, which is slated for Saturday, Nov. 21. The meet will take place at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin.

Eight of the top ten finishing programs were nationally ranked by the USTFCCCA, which included No. 2 Williams College, No. 3 MIT, No. 5 Tufts University, No. 8 Middlebury College, No. 18 Keene State College, No. 21 Amherst College, No. 28 Brandeis University and No. 32 Wellesley College.

In the 6-kilometer race, Williams was first with 44 points and Tufts was second with 107 points. Middlebury placed third (108), MIT was fourth (114) and Wellesley rounded out the top five teams with 170 points. In the field of 390 runners, the Engineers had all seven harriers finish in the top 61 spots.

Leandra Zimmermann ’19 was ninth overall and second for the Engineers at 21:57.8, Mary E. Eccles ’18 crossed the finish line 27th at 22:13.3 and Nicole A. Zeinstra ’16 was fourth (33rd overall), with a time of 22:24.1.

Megan M. Montgomery ’19 rounded out the top-5 finishers for the Cardinal and Gray at 22:38.3 with a 44th place finish overall.

With the at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship, MIT will travel to Winneconne, Wisconsin to compete on Saturday, Nov. 21. The women’s race is expected to get underway at 11:00 a.m. Last season, the Engineers placed second out of 32 teams at nationals, which was held in Mason, Ohio.