SEWARD, Neb. – An all-conference runner for the third year in a row, senior Emily Deschaine has also earned her third-consecutive trip to the national championships. The 2017 NAIA Cross Country National Championships will be held on Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash. The women’s 5k race is set to get underway at 11:30 a.m. local time in Washington (1:30 p.m. in Nebraska).
The national championships have taken Deschaine all over the country. She qualified for the 2015 championship meet in Charlotte, N.C., and then went to Elsah, Ill., (St. Louis area) for last season’s nationals journey. For the second year in a row, Deschaine is the lone national qualifier to represent head coach Matt Beisel’s programs, which turned in team finishes of fifth (women) and sixth (men), respectively, at the conference championships on Nov. 4.
Deschaine entered this year’s national field as one of four at-large individual qualifiers from the GPAC. Deschaine earned her spot with a sixth-place finish at the conference championships, clocking in with a time of 18:32.60. The native of Frankenmuth, Mich., has improved her positioning within the conference each season of her career, going from 23rd in 2014 to 11th in 2015 to ninth in 2016 before placing sixth earlier this month.
Deschaine made her way to the 2015 national championships along with teammates Jordan Potrzeba and Kim Wood, both seniors at the time. Deschaine placed 159th (19:27.3) in her first experience at cross country nationals. While nursing a knee injury last fall, Deschaine finished 195th (19:28.88). Beisel believes she can improve significantly on that placement.
Prior to the GPAC championships, Deschaine discussed the significance of getting one last chance on the national stage. Said Deschaine, “It’s hard for me right now to face the fact that my cross country career is coming to an end. Part of why I want nationals so bad is just having one more race to put the cherry on top of the season. Just making it to nationals is such an honor and such an achievement in itself. It makes you walk away feeling like you really give it all you had.”
Results for Saturday’s championship meet will be posted HERE.
Deschaine career GPAC finishes
2017 – 6th | 18:32.60 (Sioux Center, Iowa)
2016 – 9th | 18:20.96 (Hastings, Neb.)
2015 – 11th | 19:00.72 (Crete, Neb.)
2014 – 23rd | 19:05.97 (Mitchell, S.D.)
Deschaine career NAIA national finishes
2017 - ?? (Vancouver, Wash.)
2016 – 195th | 19:28.88 (Elsah, Ill.)
2015 – 159th | 19:27.3 (Charlotte, N.C.)