Things couldn't have gone much better for Alexi Pappas this past collegiate cross country season at Oregon.
Pappas, a 2008 Bishop O'Dowd High graduate who grew up in Alameda, earned All-America honors with an eighth-place finish in the NCAA Division I women's cross country championship race on Nov. 17 as the Ducks also won the national team title.
"I feel very thrilled about the season," said Pappas, a red-shirt senior who transferred to Oregon from Dartmouth this summer. "It was a very cool thing that I could not only contribute to the team, but see the team grow together."
At Oregon, Pappas is doing interdisciplinary graduate studies focusing on film, creative writing and business. Pappas, who earned All-America honors in track at Dartmouth this past spring with a third-place finish in the NCAA Outdoor 3,000-meter steeplechase final, graduated from Dartmouth magna cum laude with high honors in English this spring.
Athletics-wise, Pappas found an abundance of talented runners in Eugene.
"I had an amazing teamship with Abbey last year," said Pappas, referring to Dartmouth teammate Abbey D'Agostino, who won last spring's NCAA Outdoor 5,000 title and was second in the NCAA cross country championships this fall. "It's awesome to be surrounded by even more super-high caliber athletes.
"I think running this year was so fun because of having a whole team on the same page," Pappas said. The team that ran at the NCAA championships
Backing up senior teammate Jordan Hasay's third-place finish, Pappas was the Ducks' No. 2 runner in the NCAA championship race with a time of 19 minutes, 43.9 seconds for the 6,000 meter course at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville-Ky. She was her team's No. 3 runner at the NCAA West Regional with a 10th-place finish (19:54 for 6,000 meters at Jefferson Golf Course-Seattle) and was fourth overall in the Pac-12 championship race as her team's No. 2 runner.
Pappas will compete for the Ducks in the indoor track and field season, her last season of collegiate eligibility.