Story courtesy www.msnsportsnet.com
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - West Virginia University track and cross country student-athlete Kate Harrison represented WVU with a first-place finish at the Canadian World Cross Country Trials held Saturday afternoon in Guelph, Ontario.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Harrison bolted out to the lead to finish the race in 23:45. With her top finish, she will advance to the World Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain, on March 20, 2011, having qualified by virtue of winning the meet.
"Kate (Harrison) ran the greatest race of her life this weekend," WVU coach Sean Cleary says. "Winning a national championship in any sport is the highest form of recognition."
WVU teammates Sarah-Anne Brault (r-So.,Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Maria Dalzot (r-Sr., Morgantown, W. Va.) also competed at the race as Brault arrived in eighth place in 24:41, while Dalzot finished in 24th place in 26:06. Brault will wait to find out if she advances to the next round of trials to further compete for her native country.
"For Sarah coming back from her NCAA Championships race on Monday to finish eighth was a great sign of her conditioning. She has shown consistency in every race this fall," Cleary says.
He was also proud of Dalzot, who competed in her last race as a Mountaineer.
"(Maria) Dalzot culminated her final race in a West Virginia jersey with a very good 24th-place finish," Cleary says. "We are very proud of all three girls."
Harrison is one of three seniors that WVU coach Sean Cleary decided to redshirt for the 2010 cross country season to further prepare her for the 2011 track and cross country seasons. A gifted runner, the BIG EAST Academic All-Star finished 18th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships and third place for the same event at the Sea Ray Relays in 2009.
"Redshirting this fall has been very beneficial for Kate," Cleary says. "She has now proven that she has the ability to be near the lead of the NCAA Championships next fall."