There is no doubt about it; Abbey D’Agostino is in a class by herself. With every NCAA championship she runs in, the Topsfield native continues to make history.
Last weekend at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico, site of the NCAA Division 1 national championships, the Dartmouth College senior successfully defended her titles in both the 5000 and 3000 meter events.
This marked the sixth and seventh individual championships for D’Agostino — three more than any Ivy League female athlete has ever achieved in 131 years. She is also the first female to ever win the two distance events at the same meet two years in a row.
D’Agostino had to come from behind to win the 5000 last Friday night after Michigan’s Erin Finn built up a big lead in the early going. The former Masconomet Regional star led the chase pack and made her move with around six laps remaining. Duke’s Juliet Bottorff challenged her and went ahead, but D’Agostino regained the lead and finished strong to win (16:20.39).
“Both races, especially the 5K, didn’t go according to plan, but I had confidence I could do it,” said D’Agostino. “I’ve had enough experience in big races that I could react. I closed the gap, but didn’t want to do it too rapidly and waste energy.
“I caught (Finn) and took the lead with 600 meters to go, but then the girl from Duke came up to challenge me. We went back and forth before I took it back for good with 300 meters left. I had to press myself and although I didn’t want to do any leading, I wound up leading the chase pack. I just tried to stay calm and wait for the best time to move up.”
On Saturday night in the shorter 3000 meter race, D’Agostino made history by winning in 9:14:47. Her two big victories helped the Big Green tie for seventh place as a team.