The University of Redlands cross country program cheered on two runners from afar, as the talented duo of sophomore Maria Ramirez (Orange, CA) and junior Joseph Esparza (Arcata, CA) competed at the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships on a cold and rainy Saturday morning in Elsah, Illinois.
In their first-ever national appearances, Ramirez and Esparza represented the Bulldogs well on the Principia College North Farm Cross Country Course. Ramirez ran the 6k race in 21:58.30, which was just eight seconds off of her recent qualifying time at the NCAA West Regional Championships. She finished 66th overall out of Division III's best 279 runners. Esparza recorded a time of 26:38.29 on the 8k course to finish 245th at the NCAA Championships in his inaugural season with the Bulldogs.
This was the first time in Head Coach Mike Schmidt's tenure that Redlands qualified runners in both the men's and women's national championships.
Individually, the women's race was won by University of Chicago's Khia Kurternbach with a time of 20:39.20, while the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire's Darin Lau took first in the men's competition by crossing the finish line in 24:03.59.
For complete results, please visit: http://trxctiming.com/DIII_XC_Nationals/Results/Nationals_Results.htm.