Women Place 22nd at NCAA East Regionals
Saturday, November 6, 2004
By Bob Heller
Shelby Rance set a USP course record as the women's cross country team placed 22nd at the NCAA East Regional Championship at Indiana University of Pennsylvania earlier today.
Rance (So., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA), the first Devils to finish, completed the 6,000-meter course in 25:12 (a 6:49 per mile pace) to establish a school course record. For Shelby it was her first and only 6K race of the season. (The Devils had only competed in one other during the regular season.) Rance finished 91st overall.
Joy Aifuwa (Fr., Edison HS/Edison, NJ) was next to finish for the Devils crossing the finish line in 26:49. Aifuwa was running strongly until a muscle cramp in the second mile hampered her efforts for the remainder of the race.
Two seniors were the next finishers for USP. Kate Jordan (Sr., Delaware Valley HS/Athol, NY) finished six second behind Aifuwa with a time of 26:55. Elizabeth Hay (Sr., Hempfield HS/Landisville, PA) was just nine seconds behind Jordan with a time of 27:04. Both runners closed out their collegiate careers in style as both times were personal bests.
Sarah Reeser (Jr., Dover Area HS/Thomasville, PA) rounded out the top five finishers for the Devils, crossing the finish line in 27:27. Amanda Reed (So., Haverford HS/Haverford, PA) was right behind her with a time of 27:35 and Jean Dugan (Fr., Methacton HS/Norristown, PA) completed the Devils squad competing in the event, finishing in 28:53.
"I am very proud of the effort all of our runners put in today and this season," said Head Coach Bob Heller. "Having our two seniors close out their careers with personal bests was the icing the cake. Liz (Hay) ran some of the best times of her career this season and Kate (Jordan), who only competed for us this year, made the transition from basketball to cross country without a hitch. Both are also fine examples of what a student-athlete truly is and their presence will be missed next season."
Today's race concluded one of the most successful season in women's cross country ever at USP. The Devils recorded top 10 finishes in all six regular season races, five of them top five finishes, and finished third at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference championships, just three points out of second and their best conference finish ever.