TERRA HAUTE, INDIANA - University of New Hampshire women’s cross country junior Cathy Parker (Westford, Mass.) recently placed 111th overall in a time of 22 minutes, 13 seconds at the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Cross Country Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located in Terre Haute, Indiana on Monday.
    Parker was one of two runners to represent the America East, as she was the first to cross the finish line from the conference. Boston University’s Marisa Ryan placed 123rd overall (22:23). Parker out-raced 142 other national qualifiers. She was the fourth Wildcat in the past decade to qualify for nationals and the first female runner to garner such a prestigious accomplishment.
The junior harrier caps off one of the most successful seasons in Wildcat women’s cross country history. She led UNH to a second place finish at the America East Championships by placing first overall, finishing 18 seconds ahead of BU’s Ryan. She was named to the All-Northeast Team for her fourth place effort at the Northeast Regionals held at Van Cortland Park in New York. Parker lost to just two runners from powerhouse Texas Tech during the regular season, both of whom hail from Kenya. She also captured the 40th annual Albany Invitational.
    The Westford, Massachusetts native was awarded America East “Performer of the Week” on three occasions and was twice named the ECAC “Athlete of the Week.” She ran a blistering time of 16:53.60 on a 5K course that was the fastest ever recorded by a women’s cross country runner in the UNH’s illustrious history.
    In addition to Parker’s accomplishments on the running course, she also excelled in the classroom as evidence to being named to the America East All-Academic Team. Academic achievement for consideration required student-athletes to have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 and finish in the top 10 at the conference championships.
    Parker switches gear for the upcoming indoor track season that is rapidly approaching. The Wildcats open the 2006-07 campaign with the Husky Winter Carnival at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday (Dec. 2). The meet is scheduled to start at 12:00 noon.
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