MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Two top-20 finishes by West Virginia runners led the No. 24 Mountaineers to an eighth-place finish at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic on Saturday morning in Louisville, Ky.
Redshirt junior Stephanie Aldea finished first for the team in 15th place out of 262 runners with a 5k time of 17:26. Redshirt senior Ahna Lewis, racing in her first event of the year, arrived close behind in 19th place in 17:34.
The Mountaineers finished with 247 points for an eighth-place mark out of 30 teams, while No. 13 Michigan won the event with 81 points as three Wolverines finished in the top 10. Second-place Ferris State earned 190 points, while Ole Miss (202), Purdue (228), USF (232), Alabama (240) and Illinois State (246) finished in front of WVU. East Carolina (263) and Vanderbilt (325) rounded up the top 10.
“As the weeks go by, we can see the puzzle coming together,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “(Stephanie) Aldea went out and ran a race that is a much better reflection of her shape. The return of Ahna Lewis to the team is allowing us to feel more comfortable with our depth. Through the entire group, we are starting to see the improvements that are expected come October.”
Redshirt sophomore Sarah Martinelli was the third WVU runner to cross the finish line in 67th place in 18:13, while teammates Aubrey Moskal (73rd) and Jordan Hamric (77th) arrived soon after to score the remaining points for WVU.
Mountaineers Allison Pettit (18:24), Hallie Portner (18:33), Stephanie Caruso (18:48) and Chelsea Jarvis (19:10) also raced the 5k course at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. West Virginia will return to the course on Oct. 29 to compete for the BIG EAST championship.
“Three BIG EAST teams beat No. 1 Georgetown today at the Paul Short Invitational, which is just silly,” Cleary says. “The BIG EAST race will be a monster. All we can do is stick to our plan and make sure we have our ‘A’ game when we return to Louisville in a month.”
The Mountaineers next compete at the Penn State National Invitational on Oct. 14 in State College, Pa. Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic resultsWomen’s Gold 5k race
1. Michigan ... 81
2. Ferris State ... 190
3. Ole Miss ... 202
4. Purdue ... 228
5. USF ... 232
6. Alabama ... 240
7. Illinois State ... 246
8. West Virginia ... 247
9. East Carolina ... 263
10. Vanderbilt ... 325
(with 20 other schools participating) West Virginia
Stephanie Aldea ... 15th ... 17:26
Ahna Lewis ... 19th ... 17:34
Sarah Martinelli ... 67th ... 18:13
Aubrey Moskal ... 73rd ... 18:16
Jordan Hamric ... 79th ... 18:19
Allison Pettit ... 91st ... 18:24
Hallie Portner ... 110th ... 18:33
Stephanie Caruso ... 151st ... 18:48
Chelsea Jarvis ... 200th ... 19:10