MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Three top-10 finishes by West Virginia runners led the No. 19 Mountaineers to a second-place finish at the Inter-Regional Bubble Buster on Friday evening in Toledo, Ohio.
Redshirt senior Kate Harrison, racing in her first meet of the year, finished in first place in the 93-runner field with a 4k time of 13:16. Teammate Kaitlyn Gillespie, a 2010 All-American, arrived close behind in second place in 13:18. Redshirt junior Sarah-Anne Brault was the third Mountaineer to cross the finish line, doing so in fifth place in 13:28.
The Mountaineers finished with 57 points behind first-place Arkansas, which earned the victory with 36 points. San Francisco (101) and Columbia (106) pursued in third and fourth place, respectively, while host Toledo (115), Baylor (135), Ohio State (152) and Eastern Michigan (204) finished the field.
“Watching (Kate) Harrison, (Katie) Gillespie and (Sarah-Anne) Brault hammering at the front was exciting,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “I saw some very good things out there tonight. We finished second to one of the best programs in the history of our sport. Arkansas was without question underrated in the national poll coming into the race.”
Redshirt senior Kaylyn Christopher, also racing in her first event, came in 17th place in 13:55. Fellow 2010 redshirt Stephanie Aldea finished in 32nd place in 14:15, while redshirt junior Aubrey Moskal had another solid race with a 43rd-place mark in 14:27.
Morgantown native Hallie Portner (49) crossed in 14:33 with Jordan Hamric finishing in 51st place. Mountaineers Allison Pettit (57), Sarah Martinelli (63) and Chelsea Jarvis (80) rounded the field for the team.
“Arkansas ran like a top-10 team while we did not,” Cleary says. “I feel strongly that we now know what we need to fine tune over the next two months to run as we know we can. I have complete confidence that we will do so.”
Four Arkansas runners placed in the top 10 to lead the Razorbacks to victory.
The Mountaineers next compete at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Oct. 1.2011 Inter-Regional Bubble BusterTeam Scores
1. Arkansas - 362. No. 19 WVU – 57
3. San Francisco - 101
4. Columbia - 106
5. No. 29 Toledo - 115
6. Baylor - 135
7. Ohio State - 152
8. Eastern Michigan - 204West Virginia
Kate Harrison … 1st … 13:16
Kaitlyn Gillespie … 2nd … 13:18
Sarah-Anne Brault … 5th … 13:28
Kaylyn Christopher … 17th … 13:55
Stephanie Aldea … 32nd … 14:15
Aubrey Moskal … 43rd … 14:27
Hallie Portner … 49th … 14:33
Jordan Hamric … 51st … 14:37
Allison Pettit … 57th … 14:44
Sarah Martinelli … 63rd … 14:54
Chelsea Jarvis … 80th … 15:25