Dromgoole Runs to All-America Status at NCAA's

Dartmouth senior Erin Dromgoole (Millbury, Mass.) earned All-America honors on November 20, finishing 23rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championship hosted by Iowa State.

Meanwhile, the Big Green men went into the race ranked 25th nationally and couldn't move any higher on a cold, snowy, raw day as the wind chill factor dipped to minus 20 degrees.

"In nine years of coaching at Dartmouth," said men's coach Barry Harwick, "I've never seen conditions like this."

Dromgoole ran the six kilometer course in 21:17, for the second best finish in the history of Dartmouth women's cross country. The best-ever was the 16th-place effort by Maribel Sanchez '96 in 1995.

After taking 37th place at the 1997 NCAA's, Dromgoole suffered through injury-plagued years as a sophomore and junior.

"Erin really saved the best for last," said coach Ellen O'Neil. "It's the finest collegiate race I've ever seen her run. It was perfectly executed."

The plan called for Dromgoole to start quickly, and she did exactly that, completing the first mile in 20th place. "She went past us so quickly that Barry and I almost didn't see her," said O'Neil.

For the Dartmouth men, sophomore Tom McArdle (Brookline, Mass.) finished 52nd on the 10K course in 31:19.

"He ran a very good race overall," said Harwick.

Arkansas won the championship in the 31-team field with 83 points, followed by Colorado with 94 and Providence with 121.

The Big Green totaled 551 for the 25th spot, while 49 fewer would have bumped Dartmouth up to 20th. "It was a good performance," said Harwick, "but not a great one. We had to run as well as we did at the Districts in order to move higher."

Senior Peter Duyan (Portland, Ore.) was 88th in 31:39; senior Parker Pruett (Birch Harbor, Maine) 130th in 31:57; junior Jason Taylor (Palos Verdes, Calif.) 187th in 32:27; while senior Bryce LaPierre (Woburn, Mass.) was 222nd in 33:01.

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In related news, O'Neil is taking a leave of absence from her position from January-June, 2001.

School record-holder Kristin Manwaring '96 has been appointed interim coach.

Said Athletic Director Dick Jaeger, "Ellen has been granted a leave from her coaching duties from January through June. This will allow her time to pursue a variety of other interests away from the time demands of a three-season college coach. We wish her well and will welcome her back in June."

In her ninth season at Dartmouth, O'Neil's cross country teams won four Heptagonal titles and made six straight appearances at the NCAA's, including 1997 when the Big Green finished fourth.

Manwaring holds the Dartmouth records in the 800, 1500 and mile, and last summer, she qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1500. (Kathy Slattery)