TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – As the lone representative from Cal Lutheran at the 2012 NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country National Championships, Melissa Skiba made her first appearance for the Regals at the national level and returns to Southern California as an All-American, the first in CLU history.
On a warm, clear Indiana morning, the junior transfer completed the 6K course, that was uneven with some cardinal hills and loops, in a time of 21:28.0 to place eleventh in a field of 263.
Skiba felt good during the race and spoke to the experience afterwards saying, “There were a lot of runners to work with,” she went on, “And the energy from the crowd was electric.”
The CLU harrier concludes her first Division III season as one of the top runners in the country after placing eleventh to earn All-America status as the top-35 finishers take home that honor.
She was the top Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) finisher ahead of rival Lenore Moreno from La Verne. After competing tough all season in SCIAC and West Regional action, Skiba finally caught the Leopards senior who completed the course in 21:33.9. Both Bridget Blum (21:49.7) and Allison Barnwell (21:58.0) from CMS earned All-America status as well, placing 24th and 33rd, respectively.
Today the top individual finisher was Christy Cazzola from Wisconsin-Oshkosh, crossing the line in a time of 20:55.2.
Earning the team title was Johns Hopkins who combined for 158 points as the only team sub-200. The second place team was Wartburg (221) followed by Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe Claremont-Mudd-Scripps finished third as a team with 233 points.
Skiba also earned First Team All-West Region and First Team All-SCIAC in 2012.