Brookline’s Philpot headed to NCAAs

Meghan Philpot of Brookline is a member of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) women’s cross country team that was selected to participate in the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships, qualifying as an at-large selection. This is the second time in school history the Engineers have been chosen, having also run at the NCAAs in 2009.

Rensselaer, which finished third in the NCAA Atlantic Regional on Saturday – a school record and one spot out of an automatic qualifying position – joins 31 other schools at Saturday’s national event. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is hosting the women’s and men’s championships at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wis. The women’s race begins at 12pm Eastern time followed by the men’s race at 1:30pm Eastern time. RPI’s men will be represented by junior Ben Fazio (East Greenwich, RI / East Greenwich), who qualified automatically based on his fourth-place performance at the Regional Meet.

The women’s team, which is coached by John Lynch, is ranked 10th in the nation, according to the latest USTFCCCA NCAA Division III National Coaches’ Poll. The Engineers have competed in seven meets this year and have not finished outside the top four. They have two victories, two runner-ups, two third place finishes and a fourth. Their wins came at the Liberty League Championship Meet on October 31 and the the 24-school Inter-Regional Border Battle hosted by Rowan University on October 17.

At Saturday’s NCAA Atlantic Regional, RPI had four All-Region honorees, including three who finished in the top 12 overall, paced by sophomore Jaime Lord (Stony Point, NY / North Rockland). She was fifth overall with a time of 22:07.2 over the 6k course. SeniorShannon Trant was second on Rensselaer and eighth overall at 22:16.6 and junior Maddie Dery (Mahopac, NY / Mahopac) was third and 12th, crossing in 22:23.0. Lord, Trant and Dery have been the top three runners for Rensselaer all season.

Mary West (Fulton, NY / G. Ray Bodley), a junior who was also All-Region, senior Alexa Sakorafos (Brookfield, CT / Immaculate), senior Loki Rasmussen (Ceresco, NE / Raymond) and junior Allison Thayer (Schenectady, NY / Mohonasen) were also among the 266 competitors from 44 schools at the meet on Saturday. They have been part of RPI’s lineup throughout the campaign.

RPI’s 2009 team competed in Cleveland, Ohio, finishing 28th in the nation.

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s oldest technological research university. For nearly two centuries, the Institute has been a driving force behind breakthroughs in engineering and science in virtually every arena-from transportation and infrastructure to business, medicine, outer space, and cyberspace.

As it approaches its bicentennial anniversary, the Institute continues to define The New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and research that uses advanced technologies to enable fresh collaborations across disciplines, sectors, and regions, in order to answer the global challenges of our day.