WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College's Alice Najimy (Pittsfield, Mass.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Rookie of the Year and also tabbed a First Team All-Conference honoree, it was announced by the league.
The first year harrier placed fifth at the GNAC Championship at the SJC Cross Country Trail in Standish, Maine on October 27 and was the highest finisher of any rookie in the title race with a time of 20:29 on the five-kilometer course. She becomes the first runner in school history to earn top rookie of the year honors from the GNAC.
A graduate of Lenox Memorial High School, Najimy has been outstanding all season for the Sharks, posting five top-15 finishes, including four outings of sixth place or higher. The rookie made her collegiate debut by placing sixth at the six-kilometer Worcester City Meet with a time of 25:33 on September 8 in Paxton, Mass. Najimy broke the 20-minute barrier in her first collegiate 5K race, clocking in at 19:57 to place 15th overall and ninth among collegiate runners, spanning Division I, II and III, at the 38th Annual Women's Codfish Bowl at historic Franklin Park in Boston on September 22. Najimy turned in her highest finish of the season, placing fourth at the Running Monks Invitational on October 6 in Standish, Maine with a mark of 20:36.2. The Western Massachusetts native also captured fifth place with a 20:18 effort at Franklin Park at the Suffolk Invitational on October 12. Najimy was recognized during the season for her excellence, earning GNAC Rookie of the Week honors for the week of September 17-23.
Simmons finished seventh as a team at the GNAC Championship and will compete again on November 10 when it travels to Brunswick, Maine to compete in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship hosted by Bowdoin College.