LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bucknell’s Christine Bendzinski capped an incredible collegiate cross country career by competing at the NCAA Championships in Louisville on Saturday. Running at the national meet for the first time, the Bison senior finished 143rd out of 255 runners.

“Chrissy caught a cold a couple of days before the race, and although she felt tired, she did an excellent job battling throughout the race to beat almost half the field,” Bucknell head coach Kevin Donner said. “Overall, it was a fantastic cross country season, and her development should give our younger runners the confidence to follow a similar path.”

Bendzinski finished the 6k course at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park in 21:02. She was in the middle of a pack of runners from Ole Miss, Georgia, Michigan, Yale, and Penn State. The senior qualified for the meet with a fourth-place showing at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships.

New Mexico took the team title, led by a first-place finish by sophomore Ednah Kurgat, who crossed the line nearly eight seconds faster than the runner-up. San Francisco, Colorado, Stanford, and Oregon rounded out the top five teams.

Bendzinski and the Bison now turn their attention to the indoor track and field season, which begins with the Bison Opener on Dec. 1-2.

“I believe the experience of competing at the national level will give her the confidence she needs as we head into the upcoming track and field season,” Donner said.