, N.Y.
– Freshman Erica Jesseman (Scarborough, Maine) finished second overall to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s cross country team to a first-place finish at the ECAC/ICAAAA Championships at Van Cortland Park on Saturday afternoon.

Jesseman finished the 5K course in a time of 18 minutes, 15 seconds, which was just one second behind the first-place finisher.

Laura LaPlante

The Wildcats scored 68 points to beat out Colgate University (96) and 23 other teams.

The Wildcats placed one more runner inside the top 10, and another two inside the top 20 of the 213-runner field. Freshman Laura LaPlante (Peterborough, N.H.) finished in sixth place, while sophomore Courtney Hamer (Andover, Mass.) and junior Elizabeth Morrissey (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.) finished 14th and 20th, respectively. LaPante finished in a time of 18:41, just two seconds behind the fifth-place finisher, while Hamer clocked in at 19:09 and Morrissey finished in 19:17. Ten seconds separated Hamer from eighth place.

The Wildcats end their season as a team, but senior Cathy Parker (Westford, Mass.) will compete in the NCAA National Championships for the second straight year after receiving one of only two individual at-large bids for the entire country.

Since 1996, UNH’s cross country program has sent four different runners to the NCAAs. Of the four, Parker is the only member of the women’s team, as well as the only one to go twice.

Parker will run in her second NCAA National Championship on Monday, Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind.

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