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LOUISVILLE, Ky. –- Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.) led the way for the Nittany Lions finishing the race as a USTFCCCA All-American (38th-place), the first since Caitlin Lane's 16th-place finish in 2011, as Penn State recorded a 16th-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. Saturday afternoon.
"I think our goal was to finish a little higher than we did today but 16th-place in the country is one of our highest team finishes over the last few years here at Penn State," said head coach John Gondak. "Tessa Barrett had a fantastic race finishing as an All-American as a freshman, I know she was very pleased with how things went. It's been a phenomenal season with a Big Ten championship and a Mid-Atlantic Regional championship. Our women's team should be very proud of how they performed this year after not making the national meet last year."
The Nittany Lion women scored 396 points, scoring all five runners inside the top-160, to take 16th-place.
Led by the redshirt-freshman Barrett’s All-American effort in 38th-place (20:26.7), the Lions would finish with Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) in 20:49.3, Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.) in 20:50.4, Jillian Hunsberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in 21:12.8, and Stephanie Aldrich recording a time of 21:15.1, to claim 98th, 102nd, 152nd, and 157th-place, respectively, to round out the scoring.
"It went out really hard," said Barrett. "We went out hard the first mile and continued the pace through 3K. It was a really great race and it was great to be out there working hard with everyone else, that’s the great thing about cross (country) is everyone is out there hurting together. I was running with Tori (Gerlach) right through about the 4K mark, we were working together which was awesome, it was great to not be out there alone. I had an idea that I was close (to All-American) so I knew I was definitely going to have to maintain and close hard over the final stretch through the shoot to the finish line."
"It was a phenomenal run by Tessa, she’s in a great mindset and just comes to practice and works hard and has a goal of being the best she can be," said Gondak. "She raced with a lot of poise out there in her first national championships and came away with a coveted All-American honor."
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