Hardeeville, SC - The women's cross country team traveled to South Carolina this past weekend to compete in the Asics Sand Shark Invitational hosted by USC-Beaufort. The Mountaineers placed 9th in the field of 29 teams. They put up a team time of 99:08 which is a average of 19:49 and only had a 1-5 gap of 1:08. This is the fastest race of the year for the women and many of them finished with personal bests in the 5k.
Leading the way for the women was freshman Dove DeNigris. Dove ran a personal best of 19:06 and finished in 26th place. Two other women were able to crack the 20 minute mark this weekend as Mercy Kershner placed 37th with a time of 19:37 and Erin Gonterman placed 53rd running 19:59 for the 5k. Mercy's time was a season best and it was the first time Erin has gone under 20 minutes for a cross country race. Rounding out the top five for the women was Gabrielle Sawyer and Gabriella Sabino. Gabrielle placed 58th and also set a personal best in the 5k with a time of 20:09. Gabriella set a season best for 5k with a 67th place finish and a time of 20:14.
Other finishers for the women were Jenna Hughes finishing 96th and a personal best time of 21:08, Asia Foster with a personal best time of 22:20, Megan Hale with a time of 22:32 and Brena Griffin with a time of 28:37.
"Coming into the season one of my biggest goals for the women's team was to average under 20 minutes for the top five runners and we were able to get that," said head coach Shawn Jakubowski. These women are getting faster each week and this weekend gave us a lot of confidence going into the USCAA National Championships. All of our training has been centered around the national meet so we look to continue our progress there and hopefully leave with some hardware."
The Mountaineers travel to Lakeland, FL to compete in the USCAA National Championships on November 6th.