Women’s cross country runner makes it to NCAA championships

Freshman distance runner Dale Leonard continued to prove herself to be an amazing athlete for Ramapo. Right before Thanksgiving break, Leonard became the first Women’s Cross Country team runner to secure a spot in the NCAA Championships.

She earned her spot after a first place finish at the NCAA Women’s Metro Regional Championships, where she ran a time of 21:41.9 in the 6k. 

This fantastic time resulted in winning the Metro Regional Title and being named Metro Region Athlete of the Year, two other accomplishments she is also the first to have here at Ramapo.

At the NCAA Championship, finishing with a time of 22:27.8, Leonard placed 97th overall, but seventh out of all the freshmen. 

“I felt very grateful for the opportunity to represent my school and team at the NCAA championship,” said Leonard. “I was motivated by my teammates and coaches cheering me on during the race, and it definitely helped me to keep pushing myself.” 

Hosted by Dickinson College, the 2023 NCAA Championship marked the 85th annual competition for men and 43rd for women. With Leonard making Ramapo history this year, there is hope that more of the team will make it to next year.

This competition marked the end of the season, but Leonard and her teammates are not finished yet. The indoor track season will begin shortly.  

“I am looking ahead to indoor track now that the cross country season is over,” Leonard said. “I want to continue to help my team place well at championship meets.”




Featured photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics