The Continentals compete in NESCAC, New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) and NCAA Atlantic Regional championship races. Hamilton will host two races in 2012 -- a short-course meet on Sept. 8 and the Continentals' own annual invitational on Oct. 6. The 2012 NCAA Division III Championships will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 17.
The women's cross country program boasts six All-Americans and has qualified for the NCAA Division III championships four times as a team. From 1999 to 2001, Hamilton advanced to the national meet every year. Four athletes emerged with five all-America honors from that impressive three-year run. Maggie Hanson (1999 and 2001) is the program's lone two-time all-American, and Jen Cammarano (2001), Kaitlin Nelson (2000) and Ann Toth (1999) all earned one award. The Continentals also qualified for the national championships in 1995. Hamilton enjoyed its best NCAA finish in 1999, when the team ended up in seventh place. Amy Gurney was the program's first all-American in 1981.
Meredith FitzPatrick '11 qualified for the NCAA championships in 2007. FitzPatrick capped a fine rookie season by finishing in 18th place at the NCAA Atlantic Regional, and her performance was good enough to get into the national meet. FitzPatrick earned all-region and NYSCTC all-conference honors before the year was over. In 2010, FitzPatrick and classmate Maddy Gunter '11 wrapped up their cross country careers with all-conference honors based on their performance at the NYSCTC championships. FitzPatrick made the first team and Gunter was on the second team.
Hamilton posted runner-up finishes in the NYSCTC championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999. Hanson was the individual champion in 1999 and Sarah Grygiel '83 captured first place in the 1982 race. The Continentals have finished in the top three at the NCAA regional race four times since veteran head coach Ellen Hull joined Hamilton in 1993. Abby King '11 is the most recent athlete to finish in the top 35 at the NCAA Atlantic Regional race and earn all-region honors as she accomplished the feat in 2009. FitzPatrick was all-region twice.
Exceptional academic performance is another important part of this program. Emily Gaudet '12, Hannah Kloeckner '14, Lyons, Sarah Ohanesian '14 and Emily Potter '12 made the 2011 NESCAC Fall All-Academic team. Each honoree has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35 and must have reached sophomore academic standing at her institution. Potter was elected to the Epsilon chapter of Phi Beta Kappa -- the nation's oldest honor society -- in 2012, and Kate Hails '10 was elected in 2010. Last year, the program qualified for the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association all-academic team award for the fourth time.