Harvard Cross-Country Alum Wins National Title with Hoyas

Published by Dominic Martinez on November 22, 2011 at 3:12AM

Though she already boasts four All-Ivy first team recognitions, two Academic All-American distinctions, and a Harvard diploma, Claire Richardson ’11 added something pretty special to her resumé on Monday: a national title.

Richardson, a former member of the Harvard women’s cross country team, competed in her fifth year of NCAA eligibility with Georgetown University in 2011. The Hoyas shocked the collegiate cross country world by edging out the University of Washington and two-time defending national champion Villanova University at the NCAA Division I Championship Meet to take home the trophy.

Richardson was Georgetown’s second runner at the meet, which was hosted by Indiana State University. The St. Paul, Minn. native led a pack of four Hoyas who sealed the squad’s victory by all finishing in a nine-second span. Richardson topped her personal-best time while at Harvard by covering the six-kilometer course in 20:38.

“Claire was incredibly hard-working,” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said. “She was tireless in her pursuit of academic and athletic success. [The national championship] is very well-deserved, I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Georgetown fell to conference rival Villanova at the Big East Championship Meet three weeks ago. Though Wildcat senior Sheila Reid walked away with the individual title on Monday, it was Richardson and the Hoyas who had the last laugh.

Saretsky indicated that the cross country program played a major role in influencing Richardson’s decision to attend Georgetown for graduate school.

It looks like that decision paid off.