Section: Sports

Emma Becker ’22 qualifies for NCAA Championship Meet

The Kenyon cross-country teams wrapped up their seasons this past Saturday at the NCAA Regional Meet in Shelbyville, Ind. 

The Lords, looking to build on a disappointing performance at the NCAC Championships, finished 25th with a score of 699 points. John Carroll University took first with a score of 62 points. As with the NCAC Championships, Keegan Minahan ’24 led the way for the Lords, finishing the race with a time of 26:36.0, earning him an 80th-place finish. Coming in less than 30 seconds after him was Peter Bernhardt ’25, with a 110th-place finish. The Lords’ other finishers were Jeremy Baier ’22 (162nd, 27:52.4), Jack Burczak ’23 (166th, 27:54.3), Jack Caine (196th, 28:36.2), Daniel Lane ’22 (208th, 28:55.9) and Michael Deal ’23 (236th, 29:53.2).

The Ladies earned a 15th-place finish, scoring 401 points. The first-place team, Hope College (Mich.), won the race with a score of 98 points. Pacing the Ladies was Emma Becker ’22, who placed 16th out of 266 runners with a time of 22:34.5. Her finish earned her All-Region honors and a spot at the NCAA Championship Meet. Despite being the only Kenyon runner to qualify for the National Championship Meet, Becker felt good about her entire team’s performance. “I was really happy with my race, especially since so many of my teammates ran [personal records],” Becker said.

Among those teammates who finished with personal bests were Anna Harnsberger ’23 (39th, 23:08.0), Ella Wilson ’23 (79th, 23:42.8), Davida Harris ’22 (135th, 25:08.7), Cecily King ’22 (141st, 25:12.5), Jenna Leonard ’25 (154th, 25:24.7) and Lindsey Neff ’25 (207th, 27:00.3).

Despite her stellar performance, Becker did not know immediately if she would qualify for the national championship. “I was really hoping to qualify for Nationals, but I definitely did not expect to based on my times this season, so it was super exciting to hear the news,” Becker said. 

After the cross-country season was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Becker is especially excited to have a final chance to represent the Ladies. “It means a lot to me — it’s giving me the opportunity to run one more race before I leave Kenyon,” she said. Heading into Saturday’s meet, Becker had the gift of experience on her side, as well as a few goals: to improve from 2019, and surpass her personal best time of 21:59 from her sophomore year. As her Kenyon cross-country career comes to a close, Becker is thankful for the time she spent on the team. “Being on the team has definitely been the most influential part of my time at Kenyon. So many of my closest friends are on the team with me. … I’m so grateful to my coaches for giving me the tools to succeed in running and always being there to give advice when I need it,” she said.

The 2021 NCAA Championship Meet will be held on Saturday, Nov. 20, in Louisville, Ky. The expected start time is 11 a.m.

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