Feb. 14, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane freshman cross country runner Katharine Smiley will head to Boulder, Colo., to compete in the USA Cross Country Championships, which will be held at the Flatirons Golf Course on Saturday.
Smiley will compete during the Junior Women's 6K, set to begin around 11am CT.
A native of Danville, Calif., Smiley was one of the top freshmen to compete for the Tulane Green Wave on the country circuit in the history of the program. This past fall, she competed in all four regular season meets, as well as the Conference USA Championships and the NCAA South Central Regional.
Smiley played an integral role in helping the Green Wave capture two meet titles, including the 6K Relay at New Orleans and the McNeese State Cowboy Stampede. She led the Green Wave at the Azalea City Classic, placing 17th in a time of 22:31, a personal best in the 6K, and also led the Green Wave at the Conference USA Championships, finishing in a time of 19:03.63. Smiley came in sixth place at the McNeese State Cowboy Stampede, finishing in 19:04.05 and ran a personal best in the 5K with a time of 18:52.61 at the Crimson Classic. She tied for third place at the UNO 6K Relay, finishing with a combined time of 24:21.64 and ran a 23:20.30 time at the NCAA South Central Regionals.
"I was really pleased with the cross country season that Katharine had as a true freshman," said the director of Tulane cross country and track and field, Eric Peterson. "She kind of started off in the middle of the pack, and by the end of the season, she was leading our team. Katharine is developing into a good distance runner."
For her work during the season, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association named Smiley to the All-Louisiana Team in November, as well as naming her the Co-Freshman of the Year in the state.
To be eligible to compete during the Junior Women's portion of the race, one has to be at least 14-years-old on the day of the competition and may not turn 20 during 2014. In addition to the age requirements, one must be a citizen of the United States, and be a member of the USATF.
"One of the things that we want our athletes to know when they come into this program is that if they meet the age requirements that is set for junior competitions and if they are healthy and fit, then they will have that opportunity to try and make the USA Junior Team to represent the country in the World Championships," added Peterson. "Katharine has put herself in a position to earn this opportunity, and we are going to support that."
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field and cross country programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.