PITTSBURGH — Emily Roberts, a graduate of Fredericktown High School, overcame a lot to resume her collegiate cross-country career at the University of Mary, but it all paid off Saturday when she earned third place individually and led her team to second place in the NCAA Division II National Championships.
During the latter stages of her time at the University of Southern Indiana, where she was a two-time All-American, Roberts suffered through a series of health problems, including two stress fractures, a hiatal hernia and a hip flexor strain, Roberts entered the UM Doctoral program in Occupational Therapy with a year of eligibility remaining.
With her problems diagnosed correctly, Roberts regained her previous success, capped by third place at Nationals. Bottled up at the start of the race at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Roberts was 79th after 700 meters. Hitting her stride, she moved up to second after 1,800 meters, and maintained that until passed on the final stretch. She finished in a time of 22:15.5, 3.1 seconds off of second place.
The Marauders had five All-Americans on the day, Ida Narbuvoll (12th place), Jaiden Schuette (17th), Taylor Hestekin (29th) and Bree Erickson (40th).
In late November, Roberts helped the fourth-ranked Maurauders to its third consecutive NCAA Division II regional championship in competition in Joplin, Mo.
Roberts finished second individually with a time of 20:55.76, 3.3 seconds off the pace set by Schuette, and Narbuvoll finished fourth. They led the Marauders to a team score of 29, which gave the team the championship over Augustana (64).
Those three, plus fellow UMary runners Kate Fox and Erickson, all earned All-Region honors for their performances.
Roberts, a senior, was also selected as the Northern Sun Intercolleigate Conference Newcomer of the Year. She finished fifth at the 2015 and 2016 NCAA national championships for the Southern Indiana.