Norton, runner of the year, leads Seahawks to championship

Seahawk seniors - Taylor Rosendale, Caroline Gildea, Caroline Norton - display the hardware they earned when Salve Regina captured the 2011 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women's Cross Country Championships. Norton finished first overall and was tabbed runner of the year. Salve Regina also earned the conference's sportsmanship award and helped first-year head coach David Kraszewski collect co-coach of the year honors.

BRISTOL, R.I. - Salve Regina University women's cross country ended the 11-year reign of Roger Williams University by capturing the team championship today at the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championships at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I.

Seahawk senior Caroline Norton (Portland, Conn.) bested the entire field to earn runner of the year honors. She becomes the second Salve Regina runner in the last three years to capture top honors (Paige Pallotto in 2009).

Norton has been the pace-setter for the Seahawks all season long and as usual saw familiar teammates right on her tail. Sophomores Kayley Ryan (Portland, Conn.) and Ema Waldschmidt (Verbank, N.Y.) arrived together at the finish line while Norton's fellow classmate and tri-captain Taylor Rosendale (Grafton, Mass.) produced her best effort of the season.

The final scorer for Salve Regina - Alexis Gallipoli (Branford, Conn.) - came in just ahead of two competitors to secure the championship for the Seahawks, one point better than second-place University of New England.

TEAM SCORES
Salve Regina, 35
U. of New England, 36
Roger Williams, 71
Gordon, 77
Endicott, 161
Western New England, 171
Eastern Nazarene, 229
Curry, 230

Salve Regina also earned the conference's team sportsmanship award while first-year head coach David Kraszewski was recognized with the co-coach of the year award.

"This was the most exciting win in my coaching career," said Kraszewski. "It meant so much to so many people. It was a total team effort and everyone had to do their part to make today's win a reality."

"We always talk about having your best race on the most important day. And today, we did just that! Caroline's win and Taylor's seventh-place finish were exactly what we needed to hold off a strong UNE team. Kayley Ryan and Ema Waldschmidt battled with UNE's third runner all race long, finally pulling away for good in the last 1000 meters. Ali Gallipoli's final push with less than 50 meters to go is what secured the win for us."

"Winning the CCC Championship was our number one team goal this season. We based all of our training on preparing for this race. This one race was what it was all about for us! I can't even begin to describe the jubilation we all felt as the scores were announced. The girls made history today!"

"The groundwork had been laid with Coach Bender over the last few years and we put it all together today. I couldn't be more proud! The CCC title shows everyone the direction our program is headed. We have an incredible group of competitors that gave every last drop of energy in their bodies to get this done! Words cannot describe how excited and honored we are to take home the first CCC title in program history."

INDIVIDUAL FINISHES
1. Norton, Caroline – Sr., Salve Regina - 23:35
2. Ahern, Colleen – So., U. New England - 23:43
3. Partlow, Jess – Sr., U. New England - 24:20
4. Lynch, Allison – Sr., Gordon - 24:32
5. Ryan, Kayley – So., Salve Regina - 24:34
6. Waldschmidt, Ema – So., Salve Regina - 24:35
7. Rosendale, Taylor – Sr., Salve Regina - 24:42
8. Pederson, Heather – Sr., U. New England - 24:44
9. St.Pierre, Kristen – So., Roger Williams - 24:49
10. Wandzilak, Jamie – Fr., Roger Williams - 24:51
11. Flatley, Erin – Fr., U. New England - 24:52
12. Reidy, Michelle – Fr., U. New England - 24:54
13. Honkala, Alex - Sr., Roger Williams - 24:58
14. Rich, Kelcy – Sr., Gordon - 25:01
15. Urquhart, Emily – Fr., Gordon - 25:03
16. Gallipoli, Ali - Salve Regina - 25:06