Sports update Nov. 21: Women’s cross country wins first national title

The women’s cross country team had four individuals earn All-America honors on their way to winning the program’s first NCAA Division III National Championship Nov. 19 in Winneconne, Wis.

After finishing as runner-up in 2010, the WUSTL women had all five of its point-scorers place in the top 40 to score 70 points and win the 2011 national title over defending champion Middlebury College, who scored 111 points.

The WUSTL men also had its highest finish in school history, playing third in the team standings.

Senior Erica Jackey finished fourth individually for the women, the highest finish for an individual runner in WUSTL history. Meanwhile Michael Burnstein earned his third-straight All-America honors with a 10th-place finish. Burnstein became just the second runner in men’s cross country history to finish in the top-10.

Freshman Lucy Cheadle, sophomore Sarah Fisher and senior Molly Wawrzyniak also earned All-America honors for the women, placing 20th, 22nd and 23rd, respectively. Senior Tucker Hartley finished 30th in the men’s race to join Burnstein in earning All-America honors.

In addition, senior Elizabeth Phillips, who finished 40th, received the Elite 89 Award at the National Championship Banquet Nov. 18. Phillips, who carries a 4.0 GPA in biomedical engineering, became the first athlete from any division to receive the award three times.

Women’s soccer falls to Wheaton in sectional final

No. 6 Wheaton College scored three goals in a span of two minutes and 16 seconds late in the second half as the Thunder posted a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the No. 12 women’s soccer team in the NCAA Division III sectional championship Nov. 19 in Wheaton, Ill.

WUSTL held onto a 2-0 lead with less than 18 minutes remaining in the contest, before Wheaton scored a pair of goals in a span of 63 seconds. Keri Shannon scored the game-winner for the Thunder at the 74:50 mark, as her unassisted goal proved to be the game-winner.

Sophomore Jessica Johnson and freshman Lillie Toaspern scored for WUSTL.

The Bears advanced to the sectional championship with a 2-1 win over the College of St. Benedict Nov. 18. Trailing 1-0 and dominating play with less than 15 minutes to play, the Bears mounted a comeback. WUSTL found the back of the net on its 21st shot of the contest as sophomore Lauren Steimle scored off a rebound at the 76:23 to tie the score at 1-1.

Eight minutes later, senior Lee Ann Felder volleyed home a corner kick from sophomore Kate Doyle to put the Bears up for good. The game-winning goal for Felder was the eighth of her career, eighth most in school history. Washington University ends its season with a school record 18-5 overall mark.

Women’s basketball wins three to open season

The women’s basketball team opened its season with three wins on the road last week, moving head coach Nancy Fahey to within one win of 600 for her WUSTL career.

Senior Dani Hoover scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Bears to a 65-60 season-opening win at Fontbonne University Nov. 15. WUSTL added wins over Northland College and Lake Forest College Nov. 18 and 19 at the Forester Tip-Off Tournament in Lake Forest, Ill.

Twelve different players scored for the Bears in their 65-45 win over Northland, led by senior Brianne Monahan with 10 points. Senior Claire Schaeperkoetter had a career-high 18 points in 20 minutes of playing time to lead the Bears to the 66-51 win over Lake Forest for the tournament championship.

Hoover and Schaeperkoetter both were named to the all-tournament team. The Bears will play the season’s first home game at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, against Hendrix College on the first day of the WU Tip-Off Classic. DePauw University and Illinois Wesleyan University are the other two teams competing in the tournament.

Men’s basketball wins two of three in opening week

The men’s basketball team won two of three games in the opening week of the season.

The Bears posted wins over MacMurray Nov. 15 and Whitman College Nov. 18, before falling at No. 12 Whitworth College Nov. 20.

Senior Dylan Richter led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting in the 91-64 win over MacMurray, while freshman Brayden Teuscher added 17 points, five assists and five steals in his collegiate debut. Sophomore Chris Klimek also added 12 second-half points on 5-of-7 shooting after missing his rookie season with an injury.

Teuscher scored 15 points and hit a jumper and two-free-throws with less than a minute to play as the Bears held on for a 68-65 overtime win at Whitman. Klimek added a career-high 16 points and added eight rebounds in 31 minutes played, while Richter had 12 points and five boards in 42 minutes of playing time.

On Nov. 20, Whitworth used an 18-0 run in the first half to break open a seven-point deficit, as the Pirates remained unbeaten with an 88-66 win. Klimek led the Bears with 12 points in the loss.

WUSTL (2-1) wraps up its four-game road trip with a pair of games Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26, at the Rhodes College Thanksgiving Classic in Memphis, Tenn. The Bears open play against Ohio Wesleyan University in the first round at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25.

Swimming & diving competes at Drury Invitational

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in the 2011 Drury Invitational Nov. 18 and 19 at Drury University in Springfield, Mo.

The women’s team finished in third place of three teams with 714 points, while the men finished fourth out of four teams with 505.5 points.

Freshman Zane Turpin delivered the Bears’ best performance of the weekend. Turpin’s time of 9:44.84 was good for second place in the 1,000-yard freestyle. The men’s team got a third-place performance from senior Mike Rao, totaling 437.30 points in the three-meter diving competition.

The teams return to action Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, at the Wheaton Invitational in Wheaton, Ill.