MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University cross country team finished first with a team total of 28 at the Penn State University Nationals earlier today at the PSU Blue/White Golf Course in University Park, Pa.
“I am pleased with our decision to run at this meet this weekend,” says coach Sean Cleary. “This group has handled the stresses presented to them over the last few weeks remarkably well.”
The Mountaineers, who are ranked No. 4 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and are receiving votes in the national poll, dominated the event, claiming four of the top-five finishes.
Sophomore Kelly Williams
was the first Mountaineer to cross the line, finishing in second place overall (21:22). Williams posted a season-best time and finished just two seconds off her personal-best time (21:20) set last season at the Mid-Atlantic Regional.
Freshman Jillian Forsey
finished in third overall (21:23), senior Sara Martinelli crossed the line in fourth (21:30) and junior Savanna Plombon
came in fifth place (21:47) for the Mountaineers.
“We look to get a little fitter and a lot fresher over the next month,” Cleary says. “This is a good sign that we are still improving and hold our destiny in our own hands.”
Williams, Forsey and Plombon all trimmed seconds off their times from the Paul Short Run on Oct. 5, each running season-bests.
Freshman Paige Szabat
was the fifth Mountaineer to finish the race, coming in 14th place overall (22:19).
Freshman Peyton Hampson
(22:52) and senior Allison Pettit
(23:30) finished in 31st and 40th, respectively, rounding out the West Virginia competitors.
Bloomsburg’s Victoria Davis was the first competitor to finish the race (21:16), completing the 6K course six seconds ahead of Williams.
West Virginia is back in competition on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Big 12 Championships, in Waco, Texas.