All in With Allison – Running into Records

Written By Allison Schubert, Sports Columnist

The cross country team has had a record-breaking season – literally.

The women entered the season ranked first by the River States Conference (RSC) Preseason
Coaches’ Poll.

Their expectations were high coming into the season, and sometimes those high expectations can put too much pressure on a team and will ultimately end in disappointment as a result. In the case of the Pioneers, though, those expectations were smashed and continue to be as the season goes on.

Senior Anna Shields continues to break pretty much every record in the book, most of which were held or set by her in the first place. Freshman Alyssa Campbell has been setting both personal records and freshman records since she got here, including being named the RSC Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week for last week, Oct. 1-7.

The women’s cross country team became the first team in Point Park cross country history to be ranked nationally. They first entered the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Top 25 Poll at number 17, but have since climbed to the number
16 spot.

The team this year is a deep one. Point Park placed second of nine teams at the Carnegie Mellon University meet – without Shields. Shields took the week off, but the Pioneers, led by Campbell and senior Kara Rohlf, still managed to finish within two points of NCAA Division II California (Pa.). Seeing Point Park have so much success in the absence of Shields definitely provides hope for the future, which before this season, looked meek with Shields graduating in the spring.

The women are not the only ones prone to setting records though. Junior Xavier Stephens just picked up his third RSC Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honor of the year last week with Campbell. Freshman Doug Kostelansky has also been a standout, setting personal records in nearly every race this season.

Stephens led the Pioneers to a third place finish overall at the meet, and with times that keep getting better, Point Park is excited to see what he will be able to accomplish before and during his senior season next year.

It seems that a common theme of these Point Park cross country teams is to always beat yourself. Every week, we hear about a new runner that has broken a personal record, school record or even a venue record.

We always have runners that will out-run their own times, setting records but literally racing against themselves. Pretty good situation to be in, right?

Our greatest competition now is ourselves.

With runners this great and records being broken in the headlines seemingly every day, the talent of the cross country teams can easily be looked over or taken for granted.

When it comes to the cross country department, Point Park, we are definitely spoiled.