Women’s cross-country wins second straight title

Photo credit/ MU Pacers Website

Robin Trojanowicz, Correspondent

The women’s cross-country team claimed the Colonial States Athletic Conference Championship title for a second year in a row.

Held on the snowy Saturday of October 29 at Keystone College in La Plume, the Pacers, coached by Kevin Borrelli and John Evangelista, managed to run away with the title despite having to battle the elements.

“The challenging weather conditions motivated me to run faster, therefore helping shave some minutes off my finishing time,” said senior co-captain, Shelby Naughton.

The Pacers had an impressive finish, sporting ten runners in the top twenty. Winning the title for a second straight season has Naughton ecstatic.

“It feels amazing; it gives you an extra boost of energy knowing that you are on the top. I am so proud of my team and all of our accomplishments,” said Naughton.

Sophomores Diana D’Achille and Elizabeth Schwab placed second and third with times of 21:01.0 for D’Achille and 21:03.4 for Schwab. Junior Stephanie Bender crossed the finish line at 21:20.3, coming in fourth. Junior Co-Captain Kelsey Dunn was the next Pacer to clock in, coming in sixth at 21:41.3, closely followed by Katie Sylvester, at 21:43.3. Each earned First-Team All Conference Honors for their performances at the hilly course. Schwab also received the CSAC Sportsmanship Award.

Naughton finished eleventh at 22:32.9, receiving All-Conference Second Team honors, along with eighth place finisher, Samantha LaForgia at 21:51.7.

The runners were not the only ones to be awarded; Head Coach, Kevin Borrelli was named CSAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Lauren Rustad, senior co-captain, who came in with a time of 24:09.0, described just how dominant the team has been in the last decade. “In the last nine years, we won the title seven times; it just goes to show how strong of a program we really are,” Rustad said.

The Pacers, who are currently ranked seventh in the Mideast Region in a poll by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, will move on to the next competition, NCAA Regionals, at DeSales University on November 12 at 11:00 a.m.