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Athletics

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Varsity Sports

Women's Cross Country

Overview

Lainie Smith '16 and Samantha Buttrick '17 lead the Hamilton College women's cross country program into 2014. Smith made the all-region team in 2012 and begins this fall in top shape. Buttrick landed on the 2013 New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) All-Conference Team for finishing in the top 21 at the conference championship meet and was Hamilton's third finisher at last year's NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships. Other top returners include Michelle Fish '17, who is coming off a strong track & field season, Emily Banzer '15, Lindsay Heyer '17, Alex Reading '16 and Hallie Loft '15.

Hamilton is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, which is regarded as the top cross country conference in Division III. From 2000 to 2013, nine NCAA team champions came from the NESCAC, and NESCAC programs finished in second and third place at the 2013 NCAA meet. The 2011 individual champion was a NESCAC student-athlete.

The Continentals compete in NESCAC, NYSCTC and NCAA Atlantic Regional championship races. Hamilton will host two events on campus in 2014 -- a short-course meet on Sept. 6 and the Continentals' own annual invitational on Oct. 11. The 2014 NCAA Division III Championships will be held in Mason, Ohio, on Nov. 22.

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 '02 (1999 and 2001) is the program's lone two-time All-American, and Jen Cammarano '03 (2001), Kaitlin Nelson '01 (2000) and Ann Toth '02 (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 '82 was the program's first All-American in 1981.

The Continentals were ranked 32nd in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top 35 poll of 2013 after they finished third in the NYSCTC championships, fifth at the NESCAC meet and seventh out of 38 teams at the NCAA regionals. Two runners finished in the top 10 at the Atlantic Regional championships and qualified for the NCAA meet. One athlete made the NESCAC all-conference team and three earned NYSCTC all-conference honors. Sarah Ohanesian '14 starred in her final cross country season as she finished eighth at the regional race and 76th out of 280 runners at the NCAA championships. Ohanesian also made the NYSCTC all-conference first team for finishing in the top seven at the championship meet.

Ohanesian (17th place) and Smith (34th) earned USTFCCCA all-region honors for their performance at the 2012 NCAA Division III Atlantic Region Championships. Ohanesian and Smith finished fourth and 13th, respectively, at the 2012 NYSCTC Championships and made the all-conference team for their efforts.

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. FitzPatrick and classmate Maddy Gunter '11 wrapped up their cross country careers with NYSCTC all-conference honors in 2010. FitzPatrick made the first team and Gunter landed on the second team. FitzPatrick went on to capture her second all-region award later that season.

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 at the 1982 race. The Continentals have finished in the top three at the NCAA regionals four times since head coach Ellen Hull joined Hamilton in 1993.

Exceptional academic performance is another important part of this program. Nine student-athletes made the 2013 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. Ohanesian garnered 2013-14 Academic All-District Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Team honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America. Ohanesian, Emily Potter '12 and Kate Hails '10 have all been elected to the Epsilon chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, which is the nation's oldest honor society. In 2013 the program qualified for USTFCCCA team all-academic team honors for the sixth straight year and two runners earned all-academic status.