Marywood Women’s Cross Country
Marywood University's women's cross country team has established a rich tradition of excellence in the program's 15 year history. During that span, the Pacers have won eight conference championships and finished second twice. Additionally, three runners have captured individual championships at their conference championships, while a remarkable 57 runners have earned year-end All-Conference honors.
The women's cross country program at Marywood got off to a fine start under the direction of Head Coach Will Donohoe in 1997, finishing third in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PAC) in its first year of competition. The Pacers quickly progressed to the top of the conference. In its second year of competition, Marywood recorded a PAC Runner-up finish (1998) before winning its first conference championship (1999).
Coach Donohue, who was named the PAC Coach of the Year in each of his three seasons at the program's helm, and later inducted into Marywood's prestigious Hall of Fame, stepped aside after the 1999 season and was succeeded by John Kirby. Kirby would go on to enjoy a remarkable eight-year run as the team's Head Coach.
After fifth- and sixth-place finishes at the PAC Championships in 2000 and 2001, respectively, Coach Kirby led Marywood to a Runner-up finish at the 2002 conference meet before the Pacers claimed five consecutive PAC Championships from 2003 through 2007. In 2004, Stacey Muchal became the first Marywood runner to win the conference's individual title and Paige Jablonski matched the feat in 2006.
Like his predecessor, Coach Kirby (pictured at right) would go out on top, retiring from his post following the 2007 conference title and five PAC Coach of the Year honors. Area native Kevin Borrelli took over as Head Coach in 2008 and guided Marywood to a third-place finish at the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Championship Meet.
In 2009, Marywood narrowly missed out on the team's seventh conference title after a tie finish with Gwynedd-Mercy College at the inaugural CSAC Fall Festival. Instead, the Pacers settled for the Runner-up plaque after being edged by the Griffins on a tiebreaker.
Marywood would not be denied in the fall of 2010, however, as an impressive group of underclassman led the Pacers to the CSAC Championship. Six Pacers finished in the top 12 of the conference championship meet, led by freshman Diana D'Achille (pictured at left), who became the third Pacer to win an individual championship. With a core group intact and the addition of several strong freshmen, Marywood ran away with the 2011 CSAC crown to earn the Pacers' seventh title in the last nine years.
The expectation for excellence remains high in 2012 for Coach Borrelli, who has been named the CSAC Coach of the Year in each of the last three years. Despite losing two seniors to graduation next fall, Marywood will return six All-Conference runners—including five First Team honorees—from the 2011 championship squad, which ranked as high as fifth in the Mideast Region this past fall.
For up-to-date sports scores and information on all varsity teams, go to marywood.edu/athletics
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