Cross Country: Fourth Place at BIG EAST


By Daniel Whitehead for WVUsports.com
October 29, 2011 03:09 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – With three West Virginia runners finishing in the Top 15, the No. 18 Mountaineers tied for fourth place with No. 9 Syracuse with 92 points at the BIG EAST Championship Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Ky.

No. 4 Villanova won its fourth-consecutive BIG EAST title with 54 points and was followed by No. 7 Providence (63) and No. 6 Georgetown (77), respectively. Tying with the Orange in fourth place, WVU topped No. 23 Notre Dame (136) and No. 28 Connecticut (165) as well as nine other BIG EAST programs for the strong finish.

Redshirt senior Kate Harrison led the Mountaineers with a third-place mark in the 6k race in 19:52, followed by junior Katie Gillespie in seventh place (20:14) and Sarah-Anne Brault in 11th place (20:24). With their placements, the trio was named to the all-BIG EAST team.

“Today was a satisfying performance and I am happy with our top three runners,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “They went out and executed their race plans and return home as all-BIG EAST runners. (Kate) Harrison’s run at the front marks her best-ever collegiate cross country race, and Katie (Gillespie) and Sarah-Anne (Brault) provide wonderful backups to a national-class front runner.”

Redshirt senior Ahna Lewis (21:04) and redshirt junior Stephanie Aldea (21:36) also provided team points with their respective 28th- and 43rd-place marks. Kaylyn Christopher (49th, 21:43), Jordan Hamric (62nd, 22:20), Aubrey Moskal (68th, 22:26) and Hallie Portner (93rd, 23:07) also raced for the Mountaineers.

“I am optimistic that we have one more jump in us before reaching our potential as a team,” Cleary says. “(Ahna) Lewis ran well today, but knows that she has room to improve. It is very important that we emerge from this weekend satisfied, but not thrilled, with this run. We fully believe we will be better in two weeks at the Mid-Atlantic regional.”

Villanova claimed its 14th BIG EAST cross country title as senior Sheila Reid, who won her third straight individual BIG EAST title, crossed the line in 19:40.

The Mountaineers next compete at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Saturday, Nov. 12, in Princess Anne, Md.

2011 BIG EAST Championship team results

2011 BIG EAST Championship individual results


BIG EAST
1 … No. 4 Villanova … 54
2 … No. 7 Providence … 63
3 … No. 6 Georgetown … 77
4 … No. 18 West Virginia … 92
4 … No. 9 Syracuse … 92
6 … No. 23 Notre Dame … 136
7 … No. 28 Connecticut … 165
8 … USF … 249
9 … Marquette … 301
10 … Rutgers … 322
11 … Louisville … 340
12 … Cincinnati … 342
13 … St. John’s … 416
14 … DePaul … 428
15 … Seton Hall … 462
16 … Pittsburgh … 476

West Virginia
Kate Harrison … 3rd … 19:52
Kaitlyn Gillespie … 7th … 20:14
Sarah-Anne Brault … 11th … 20:24
Ahna Lewis … 28th … 21:04
Stephanie Aldea … 43rd … 21:36
Kaylyn Christopher … 49th … 21:43
Jordan Hamric … 62nd … 22:20
Aubrey Moskal … 68th … 22:26
Hallie Portner … 93rd … 23:07






Tags
Sean Cleary, WVU Cross Country


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