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Cross country boasts top times

Senior+Kara+Rohlf+finishing+the+2017+Walsh+invitational.+Rohlf+placed+third+for+the+Pioneers+last+weekend+in+Louisville+where+the+team+placed+third+overall.+
Senior Kara Rohlf finishing the 2017 Walsh invitational. Rohlf placed third for the Pioneers last weekend in Louisville where the team placed third overall.

Senior Kara Rohlf finishing the 2017 Walsh invitational. Rohlf placed third for the Pioneers last weekend in Louisville where the team placed third overall.

Photo by Robert Berger

Photo by Robert Berger

Senior Kara Rohlf finishing the 2017 Walsh invitational. Rohlf placed third for the Pioneers last weekend in Louisville where the team placed third overall.

Written By Robert Berger, Sports Photo Editor

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The Pioneer women’s cross country team took seventh place in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday. Freshman Alyssa Campbell highlighted the weekend by finishing first in her race.

“It’s definitely the biggest race I have ever been in, but I was just overwhelmed when I crossed the finish line,” Campbell said. “I really didn’t think I was going to win and I’m just really grateful.”

With 346 runners competing on a muddy course, Campbell completed the 5k in 18 minutes, 38 seconds. The race remained tight for the first two kilometers and Campbell was in fourth place after seven minutes, 50 seconds.

By the fourth kilometer, Campbell was in third, just 5 seconds behind then leader senior Madison Paquette of Cleary University.

In the final leg of the race, Campbell managed to pull ahead of Paquette and Emily Wagner of Indiana University. Paquette placed second, seven seconds after Campbell crossed the finish line.

“It was maybe 1,000 meters left that I heard coach yelling to me… that’s when I just kicked it into high gear and I knew I could take the pain for that much longer”, Campbell said.

The freshman from New Brighton, Pa. has consistently placed in the top 15 0f her events this season. Campbell finished second to senior Anna Shields in the team’s opening invitational, and followed up with an 11th and 12th place finish in the following weeks.

“My team is just amazing and that’s what helped the transition from going from high school to here. I also have a lot of competition that pushes me on the team so that has really helped me too”, Campbell said.

Senior Kara Rohlf also finished in the top 25 Saturday after running a time of 19 minutes, 53 seconds placing her 25th overall.

“I really didn’t think I was going to do that because I wasn’t having the best race Saturday, so it was a nice surprise,” Rholf said.

Rohlf has also proved to be a dominant force thus far after placing fourth overall in the opening meet and consistently placing in the top three of Pioneer athletes each meet.

“I’ve always been a middle of the pack runner on the team and I’ve been happy with finishing in the 3 or 4 spot,” Rholf said. “I just focus on bringing my times down each week.”

The third Pioneer to cross the finish line in the silver race was senior Katie Guarnaccia with a finish in 20 minutes, nine seconds. Overall, the team averaged a 20, minute 34 second finish.

Competing separate from the rest of the team this weekend was Shields, who ran in the gold race Saturday. Competing against mainly NCAA Division 1 athletes, Shields completed the 5k in 17 minutes, three seconds and placed ninth.

Shields was in 11th place at the second kilometer marker and rose to seventh by the fourth.

Sophomore Camille Davre of Michigan University managed to pull ahead of Shields and six others in the final stretch for a seventh place finish just one second ahead of Shields.

For Shields, competing in the gold race gives her the opportunity to face opponents that will prepare for her future in the sport.

The men’s team competed in the blue race Saturday which featured a higher division of competition to prepare the team for the remainder of the season. Junior Xavier Stephens led the team and finished the course in 26 minutes, 44 seconds.

Freshman Doug Kostelansky finished shortly after with a time of 26 minutes, 56 seconds. Freshman Camden Seybert was next posting a time of 27 minutes, 53 seconds. On the day, the men’s team earned an average time of 27 minutes, 32 seconds.

“The freshman have been bringing a lot”, Stephens said. “Doug was only 10 or 12 seconds behind me and I think all of the freshman are doing really well this year and helping the team out.”

The team will race at Schenley Park Saturday morning as part of the Carnegie Mellon Invitational.

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