Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY | Hoyas Conclude Strong Season, Look Toward Indoor Track


Led by junior Chloe Scrimgeour, the Georgetown University women’s cross country team closed out a stellar season that saw victories at both the Mid-Atlantic regional and the Big East Championship and time spent ranked as the No. 3 team in the nation. 

Scrimgeour joined junior Melissa Riggins, graduate Maggie Donahue, senior Chloe Gonzalez and graduate Kelsey Swenson, a first-season transfer from the University of Idaho, to form an outstanding quintet that proved to be the consistent point scorers and drivers of team success.

In particular, Scrimgeour had a breakthrough cross country season after a strong outdoor track performance that saw her claim the 5,000-meter Big East title last spring. 

“I had a lot of momentum coming from the outdoor season, so I was using that to propel me and give me more confidence in the bigger races,” Scrimgeour told The Hoya.

Beyond winning the individual Big East Championship race, Scrimgeour earned All-American honors after leading the Hoyas with her 8th-place finish at the NCAA National Championships. This achievement marked a considerable improvement from her 59th-place finish at last year’s championship.

Although Georgetown has always been competitive on the national stage, finishing 10th at last year’s nationals, the team turned heads after an impressive 3rd-place finish at the acclaimed Nuttycombe Invitational Oct. 13. 

Donahue said the team surprised itself because it hadn’t been in such a competitive national position since the Hoyas won the National Championship in 2011. 

“It was definitely a learning curve of holding ourselves to those new expectations while trying to navigate being one of the top programs in the country for the first time like that,” Donahue told The Hoya. “We have a really great moment as a program heading into next year taking those experiences.”

Powered by Scrimgeour’s 7th-place and Riggins’ 15th-place finishes, the Hoyas finished behind only national powerhouse Northern Arizona University (NAU) and national champions North Carolina State. The Hoyas beat out 30 of the nation’s best teams along the way to their podium finish, and all five of Georgetown’s point scorers finished in the top 75.

The Hoyas continued their success at the Big East Championships on Oct. 28, where Georgetown won the team title for the fourth straight year behind Scrimgeour’s 1st-place and Riggins’ 3rd-place podium finishes. Georgetown dominated with all five Hoya point scorers finishing in the top 10 and earning all-Big East first team honors. 

GUHoyas | Hoya women’s cross country concluded a dominant season with a Big East title and an 18th-place finish in the NCAA national championship, guided by junior Chloe Scrimgeour.

The Hoyas again emerged victorious at the Mid-Atlantic Region Championship on Nov. 10, winning the team title — out of a field of 27 — for the third straight year. 

Riggins’ 2nd-place performance led Georgetown to a win, an outstanding feat for the middle-distance specialist. Donahue, Gonzalez, Riggins and Swenson all took home the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) all-Region honors for their top 10 finishes. 

The Hoyas’ regional dominance secured them an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championships at Panorama Farms in Charlottesville, Va. on Nov.18. Despite Scrimgeour’s 8th place national finish, Georgetown finished in a disappointing 18th place after Riggins, typically the second Hoya to cross the line, did not finish the race. 

Although the Hoyas did not meet their high expectations at nationals, Donahue and Scrimgeour said it was their favorite part of the season because of the support they received from their teammates, friends and families who traveled to the meet on a fan bus from Georgetown’s main campus. 

“The support we’ve had was like nothing we’ve ever had before,” Scrimgeour said.

After the Championship, the USTFCCCA recognized Georgetown Head Coach Mitchell Baker as the Women’s Cross Country Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year and Scrimgeour as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Female Athlete of the Year.

The National Championship also marked the conclusion of Donahue’s legendary cross country career on the Hilltop. 

“It was definitely a bittersweet moment at nationals,” Donahue said. “But I’m going to cherish all the memories for so long, and I know even through pretty low moments just the team and everyone has made everything worth it in the end.”

“I’m upset it’s my last season, but I’m really excited to watch from afar next year because I know they can do big things,” Donahue added. 

A three-time All-American, two-time Big East champion and school record holder in the 5,000m, Donahue has been instrumental to the program’s recent success. 

“With the help of our youngest alumni, she has been the engine to our resurgence, and we are grateful for all that she’s done for the program,” Baker said of Doanhue in a Nov. 18 Georgetown Athletics press release. 

The Hoyas are slated to begin their indoor track season at Boston University on Dec. 2.

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