Point Park Globe

XC runners thrive at Louisville Classic meet

Written By Emily MacIntyre

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The cross country team ran in the Louisville Classic last weekend, one of the team’s further races away from home in Kentucky, but the distance did not deter anyone.

Especially not Anna Shields, having run 16 minutes, 59 seconds for 5k, landing her in 19th place out of 378 runners, being amongst the top National College Athletic Association (NCAA) DI runners in the gold race. She’s dropped 20 seconds off her time this season, breaking 17 minutes and setting new school records.

“She is definitely a once in a lifetime kind of athlete,” head coach Kelly Parsley said
Shields won her first three races of the season, earning National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Runner of the Week honors in each of her first three weeks.

“This was the best field of competition I’ve ever faced,” Shields said. “What’s exciting is that I feel I’m far from my ceiling of ability, so each race reveals more of what is ultimately possible to achieve.”

It has been a great season so far for the women Pioneers. The women’s team as a whole placed fifth out of 38 schools that morning in the silver race without Shields, their top runner, who ran in the gold race.

Kayla Roberts led the Pioneers, coming in 11th out of 268 runner with her time of 19 minutes, 30 seconds. She was the only Pioneer in her division to break 20 minutes.

“We have been getting better each week,” Parsley said. “This is the best result for the women in this race historically.”

Senior captain Alexis Sherman was saddened by her last trip to Louisville with her team. She said she has loved the travel time together.

“Being able to say I raced in the Greater Louisville Classic is a big deal because some of the best runners in the world race here every year,” Sherman said.

The men’s team also came out near the top with 12th out of 46 also in the silver race. Sophomore Xavier Stephens emerged as the top runner placing 35th of 304 runners with a time of 27 minutes, 20 seconds in the 8K race.

Point Park will compete next at the Carnegie Mellon University Invitational this Saturday.

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