WAVERLY, Iowa - Wendy Pavlus, a Tupper Laker who is senior captain of the St. Lawrence University women's cross country team, successfully defended her NCAA Division III individual cross country national championship title on Saturday at the Max Cross Country Course in Waverly, Iowa.
The victory is her third career national title. She ran a personal-best 20:49 to win by 11 seconds.
Pavlus finished the 2010 season unbeaten against Division III competition and having won each of her last eight cross country races in her career. She now owns two cross-country national championship titles, as well as an indoor track and field national title. Following the race, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Pavlus its 2010 Women's Athlete of the Year.
St. Lawrence’s Wendy Pavlus (437) leads the pack during the NCAA Division III Cross Country Women’s Championships at Max Cross Country Course in Waverly, Iowa, on Saturday. Pavlus won the race.
(AP photo — Waterloo Courier, Dawn J. Sagert)
"This is certainly a defining moment in Wendy's career as a runner," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Howard. "To win once is certainly impressive, but to be able to defend your title by setting a personal best time is historic as it's only been done once before."
A 2007 graduate of Tupper Lake High School, Pavlus was a star in both the cross country and track programs. As a cross country runner, she earned All-State honors four straight years from 2003 to 2006. In her senior year at TLHS, Pavlus was crowned state champion in the steeplechase.
St. Lawrence finished in 23rd place as a team with 518 points. Middlebury College of Vermont won the team national championship with a total score of 189, ahead of Washington University (Mo.) and MIT.