NIU Ace Ashley Tutt Leads Women's Alumni Report

Official NIU Press Release: 
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Junior Ashley Tutt (Channahon, Ill./Minooka) of the Northern Illinois University women's cross country team earned an automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA Championships with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday morning (Nov. 15) at the Oklahoma State Cross Country Course.

As a team, NIU earned a ninth-place finish, tying the best mark in school history. Tutt becomes just the second Huskie to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships, joining Hope Schmelzle who took third at the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional to punch her ticket to the national championship race. 

"I knew today was going to be a dogfight from about six through nine in the team race and it could shake out in a lot of different ways," said NIU head coach Adrian Myers. "This is the first time in a few years our region has had as much national prominence, which is good for all of us, but it also makes it that much more difficult to crack the top-five. 

"For us to finish ninth, and very close to a top-seven, is something we are happy with. The resiliency of our team really showed in that we could be a little bit off and still have a strong showing. I am proud of our program and how we competed today. This is a performance that we can build upon to become a top-five regional program and look at qualifying for the national championships down the road."

Tutt ran with the lead group right from the start of the race and was in the top-five at both the 2K and 4K splits before crossing the line in 20:35.9 to earn fourth place and an automatic spot at the NCAA Championships. 

"Ashley ran exactly (the race) we talked about, turning it into a pure guts and heart race on the backside of the course," said Myers. "This is arguably one of the tougher courses I have ever seen as a coach, which is right up Ashley's alley, the more difficult the course, the more she enjoys the process. 

"There were portions of the race where Ashley led, pushing the pace to keep it honest, and that is what we talked about, making moves and committing to them. She ran a great race, she got outkicked at the finish but still finished in a position to automatically qualify for the national championships." 

The NCAA Championship will take place on Saturday, November 23, on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind., 


Nov 11, 2019 - Nov 17, 2019

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