Smith Wins NCAA Steeplechase Title

La Crosse, Wis. – Graduate student Alyssa Smith (Rochester/Brighton) of the Geneseo women’s track & field team won the program’s fifth NCAA individual title, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a school-record time of 10:17.38 in Saturday’s first event at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Smith, the second seed in the event, posted the second-fastest time in Thursday’s preliminaries (10:38.47). She placed first in Saturday’s final beating 12 other runners – including the defending national champion. Smith’s winning time, 10:17.38, lowered her own school record by nearly 15 seconds.

Smith’s performance vaulted the Knights into 10th place in the team standings.

The all-America honor is the third of her career; she placed fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2011 national championships and ran on Geneseo’s third-place distance medley relay team at March’s NCAA Indoor Championships.

She’ll race one more time at nationals, competing in Saturday evening’s 5,000-meter run. She’s seeded fourth.

Smith joins Beth Shope (1999 indoor hammer throw), Kim DePrez (2003 indoor and outdoor high jump) and Melissa White (outdoor 5,000-meter run) as Geneseo athletes who’ve won individual NCAA championships.