From Brandeis University Athletics
Brandeis University junior Emily Bryson of Quincy, Massachusetts, won a national championship in the 3,000-meter run today, blowing away the field in the final 400 meters at the NCAA Division III Track and Field championships at the Birmingham Crossplex and hosted by Birmingham-Southern College.
Bryson, who entered the championship meet as the final entrant with the 17th-fastest qualifying time, stayed within the top eight for the first half of race, staying on the rail inside of the pack. She moved into the lead pack with about four laps to go, and in the final 400 meters pulled away. After running a blistering final lap of 30.67 seconds, Bryson won the race in 9:39.99, a full five seconds faster than runner-up Bryn McKillop of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
"I felt so good headed into the final 400 meters," Bryson said. "I didn't want to go too early, knowing how many other great runners there were in the race, but [head coach] Sinead [Evans] talked to me before the race about being patient. I was ready to go on those last two laps."
Bryson is Brandeis women's track and field's first individual national champion since 1997, when Victoria Petrillo '99 won the 800-meters. She Brandeis's first 3,000-meter run All-American since 1993, when Theresa Patten '94 earned honors outdoors. Her time eclipsed the school record held by Nicole Fogarty '89since the late 1980s by nearly a second and was the ninth-fastest time in Division III history.
With her second All-America honor of the meet, Bryson became the first Judge to finish in the top eight in two events since 2003, when Mariko Tansey Holbrook Neveu '03 finished fifth in the 5,000-meters and third in the distance medley relay.
"I spent a lot of hours at Gosman," Bryson said. "And standing on top of that podium, it really felt like all that hard work paid off. Sinead has been great and had so much confidence in me. My coaches and teammates were so supportive all year long."
"She ran brilliant," Evans said. "This was a goal all season long, to compete for a national title in the DMR [in which the Judges finished 3rd on Friday night] and the 3,000. Emily was in great shape. I knew if she was within range of the leaders, she had the kick to win it, and she did exactly what she wanted to do."
With the 16 points scored by the Judges by Bryson in the 3K and by the DMR team, the Judges finished in a tie for 14th place in the team standings. That put them sixth among New England schools – including team champion UMass Boston and runner-up Williams – and third among University Athletic Associationteams.