HOPKINTON, N.H. – For the fourth time in her illustrious career, Bentley University grad student and All-America Tara Dooley (Lee, Mass./Lee HS) is headed to the NCAA Division II Women's Cross Country Championships. This year's event will be held in Joplin, Mo. on Nov. 21.
Dooley punched her ticket by running to a fourth place finish Sunday morning in the NCAA Division II East Regional, held at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds, with a 6,000-meter time of 21:54.4, besting Stonehill's Elizabeth Hannon by 1.3 seconds. The top three were Stonehill's Nicole Borofski (21:12.5), Sarah Jerotich of NYIT (21:34.9) and Mackenzie Donahue of Daemen (21:42.5).
Dooley, in her previous trips to the NCAA Championships, finished 49th in 2011, 58th in 2012 and fourth in 2013. She missed last season due to injury.
Bentley turned in a strong performance as a team but was denied a trip to the NCAAs as a team by 20 points. The Falcons, with 180, followed Stonehill College (48), Roberts Wesleyan (128), St. Thomas Aquinas (160) and Daemen (178). A total of 28 teams and 186 runners competed in the event with the top three teams qualifying.
Junior Julia Morena (Boylston, Mass./Tahanto Reg. HS) was the other Falcon to crack the top 20 with her time of 22:21.1 good for 18th overall.
Bentley was also recognized in the top 60 by sophomores Marianne Bartolotta (Wantagh, N.Y./ Holy Trinity HS) and Courtney Loughnane (Canton, Mass./Canton HS), as well as junior Mary Leach (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans HS). Bartolotta was 49th in 23:32.7, Loughnane was two places and 1.5 seconds behind her, and Leach took 58th in 23:44.5.