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November 25, 2013

Topsfield's D'Agostino wins NCAA cross country championship; Rocha leads Friars to team title

(Continued)

“It was pretty cold and windy with an awful lot of mud on the course,” said Rocha. “There were some good-sized puddles, too, nothing like anything we had run in before this season, but you go out and do your best.

“For me personally, it was an honor to run and contribute. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be part of it and a very cool experience.”

Admitting it was “nerve-wracking” knowing Providence was the top team coming into the race, Rocha met her goal of running to her potential and getting points for the Friars.

Rocha was also excited to see a woman from the North Shore win the event, especially since she has followed D’Agostino’s All-American career.

“It was really exciting to have someone from where you are from win the race,” Rocha said. “I’m so happy for her.”

A standout at Peabody High, Rocha said it was easy making the transition to college because all of her teammates were so welcoming right from preseason.

“I think it’s good to go from being one of the top performers on a team to learning to fit in at the next level,” said the highly recruited athlete. “Everyone on my team is so close, and they welcomed me. I think one of the reasons we did so well this season is because of the great chemistry on this team. It’s been a wonderful experience: meeting my teammates, adjusting to school and making a contribution.”

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On the men’s side, Middlebury senior captain Greg Krathwohl from Ipswich was 16th overall and first Panther to cross the finish line at the Division 3 nationals at Hanover College in Indiana.

Krathwohl ran the 8K in 25:05 to help his team finish seventh, the best finish in school history. With his performance, Krathwohl earned ALL-American status.

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