Martinelli Leads No. 29 Cross Country to Eighth

  • By Jonathan Hevron
  • |
  • October 05, 2013 05:25 PM
  • |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (October 5, 2013) – The No. 29 West Virginia University cross country team finished in eighth place out of 47 schools at the Lehigh Paul Short Invitational earlier today.

“This was an interesting race to say the least,” says coach Sean Cleary. “While we came here wanting a different result, I am pleased with the effort that we demonstrated. These conditions were brutal.”

Seniors Sarah Martinelli and Allison Lasnicki led the Mountaineers, finishing in 19th (20:55) and 25th (21:04) place, respectively.

Freshman Jillian Forsey crossed in 48th place (21:25), sophomore Kelly Williams in 75th (21:37), junior Savanna Plombon finished in 90th (21:44) and sophomore Paige Szabat in 166th (22:23).

The top-five runners for WVU made their season debuts today, with Lasnicki and Forsey running in their first-career race as Mountaineers.

Martinelli’s 20:55 performance marks the best time posted by a WVU runner this fall, and sets a new personal record, beating her former time of 21:38 at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Regional. As a squad, the Mountaineers finished with a score of 257 and an average time of 21:21 for the top-five runners.

Finishing in the top 10 today, including WVU, were five ranked schools in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll. Georgetown, ranked No. 6, won the event with a team score of 112. No. 12 Villanova tallied 168 points for a third place finish. No. 10 Cornell, led by senior Rachel Sorna’s fifth place finish (20:26), came in fourth with 182 points, and No. 13 Penn State tallied 326 points for ninth place.

Dartmouth’s senior Abbey D’Agostino crossed the line in first, completing the 3.7 mile course in 19:44. The Big Green finished in second place with a team total of 125.

“I feel that we will come out of this with a much clearer vision as to what we need to accomplish in our preparation and race executions,” Cleary says. “I am proud of how hard we ran out there.”

The afternoon races were canceled today due to extreme heat and humidity.

The Mountaineers return to action on October 19 at the PSU Nationals. It will be the second time this season that WVU has competed on the White & Blue Golf Course in State College, Pa.

For complete results from the Paul Short Invitational, click here.