McDaniel Finishes 43rd at NCAA Championships to End Sensational Season
LOUISVILLE, Kent. – To end her fantastic season, Western Michigan sophomore cross country runner Maria McDaniel finished in 43rd place at the NCAA Championships Saturday afternoon, just missing All-American status with a top-40 finish. Her time of 20:28.6 missed the top-40 by less than one second. Senior Molly Seidel of Notre Dame won the race with a time of 19:28.6 while New Mexico won the championship with 49 points. The meet was hosted by the University of Louisville at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park.
“She really believed that she could be in the top-40 and as she continues to mature and get stronger she will be able to finish those races off,” Head coach Kelly Lycan said. “She’s been great all year and she will continue to get better to become an All-American.”
At last year’s meet in Terre Haute, Ind., McDaniel finished 54th overall out of 253 runners with a time of 20:55.3. She was 11 seconds away from earning All-American status with a top-40 time. It was the first time since 1986 that the WMU women’s cross country team was represented at the Championships.
McDaniel has had a masterful sophomore season for the Broncos leading the team in all six races she has competed with WMU. (Competed in one race unattached). She has five top-three finishes this season including wins at the George Dales Invitational, the Notre Dame Invite and the Michigan Intercollegiates. She placed second at the EMU Celebration and took third at the MAC Championships, becoming the first member of WMU to garner two First Team All-MAC since 1993. She finished eighth overall at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships and competed in the NCAA Championships for the second straight season.
“She’s had a great season and she had building off a really good freshman season,” Lycan said. “She took the lessons learned and applied them to this year. She’s a great example and great leader for this team.”