XC Women ranked 15 in NAIA, place second Saturday


Photo by Gracey Evans

Freshman Alyssa Campbell running in Saturday’s Carnegie Mellon University Invitational Saturday. Campbell finished in second place and the team placed second overall. The women’s team is now ranked 15th in the NAIA.

Written By Robert Berger, Sports Photo Editor

Ranked 15th in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the women’s cross country team took second place Saturday morning in the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Invitational 5k.

“It’s exciting, the women have worked really hard,” head coach Kelly Parsley said. “This race this past weekend, I thought was their best as a team, even without Anna [Shields] just in terms of the pack with how close they were.”

Like last week, freshman Alyssa Campbell led the Pioneer women’s team posting a time of 18 minutes, 55 seconds, just 24 seconds behind first place finisher Alicia Belko of California University of

“It was nice to see Alyssa Campbell lead the team again, two weeks in a row. She’s a really great freshman,” Parsley said.

The freshman has consistently placed in the top finishers for Point Park each week this season and feels she is adjusting well to collegiate level running.

“There is definitely more competition and people take it a lot more seriously in college, which is something I’ve really come to appreciate,”
Campbell said.

Racing on a familiar course at Schenley Park, the women’s team managed to finish with six runners in the top 18.

Senior Kara Rohlf finished second for the team as she completed the course in 20 minutes. Good enough to place her at seventh overall. An improvement of 17 places compared to last week in Louisville, Kentucky.

Reba Bartram finished third for the Pioneers at 12th place in 2o minutes, 26 seconds. 10 seconds after Bartman, Senior Katie Guarnaccia crossed the finish line placing her 13th overall.

The next pair of Pioneer runners to finish were sophomores Alyssa Boyd and Alex Barr, placing 17th and 18th respectively. Boyd completed the course in 20 minutes, 43 seconds, while Barr finished five seconds later in 20 minutes, 48

The men’s team finished its CMU invitational 8k with the best team finish of the season placing third out of 10 schools. Overall the team put up 96 points falling short only of Duquesne’s 79 points and CMU’s 20.

Junior Xavier Stephens finished first for the Pioneers and took 12th place overall in 27 minutes, 16 seconds.

“Schenley is a tough course and it’s not my favorite to run on,” Stephens said. “I ran a course PR [Personal Record] and I definitely did better this weekend than I have in years past.”

Stephens took an early lead off the gun while running three laps around the Schenley oval.

“I felt good on the oval,” Stephens said. “It’s pretty easy to go out fast because it’s so flat and that’s more of my strength.”

In years past, the teams spent more time running the trail rather than the flat oval, however weather conditions caused downed trees and landslides resulting in rerouting of the course.

Junior Eric Torres, racing with a week of rest under his belt was second to finish for Point Park and placed 16th in 27 minutes, 48 seconds.

Freshman Doug Kostelansky was next with a finish in 28 minutes even and placed next to Torres in 17th place. This was the second week in a row the freshman finished in the top three of Pioneer runners.

“Doug is fairly new to running so I don’t think he knows how good he can be,” Parsley said. “I’m excited to see the next couple of weeks of good training…he’s only the third freshman ever to break 27 minutes in an 8k.”

Two more freshman rounded out the top five for Point Park who were Camden Seybert and Brody Carlin. Seybert ended with a time of 29 minutes, two seconds while Carlin finished in 29 minutes, three seconds. The two placed 32nd and 33rd respectively.

Both teams celebrated senior day following the race with the women’s team honoring Taylor Celich, Anna Shields, Rholf and Guarnaccia. The men’s team recognized seniors Sean Hilverding, Connor Wright, Andre Lowery, Robert Lane, Bryan Partika and Bradley Calleja.

Both teams will have this weekend off and will then travel to Grand Rapids Michigan the following week to compete in the NAIA Great Lake Challenge. It will be the Pioneer’s final meet before the River States Conference Championship meet which will take place in Owensboro, Kentucky. Nov. 3.

Additional reporting contributed by Nicholas