By Jared Prenda
The women’s cross country team poses with its trophy after placing second at the Don Cathcart Invitational. Courtesy of cuacardinals.com
The Lady Cardinals cross country team made history this past weekend after finishing second at the Don Cathart Invitational. With this placement, the team has moved up to rank 6th in the Division III South/Southeast Region, the highest ranking in program history.
Senior runner Carolina Zimmerman said, “Being in my fourth year on the team, it’s been pretty amazing to see how much the team I started with has grown, and it makes me happy that they will only continue to get better. For the team as a whole we are all proud of how much everyone has contributed this year, and all of the hard work we have all put forth makes our ranking very well deserved.”
The team has put forth dominant performance after dominant performance this season, with the team placing in no worse than third in all of its events thus far. The team’s most recent race, the Don Cathcart held at Winter Place Park in Salisbury, Maryland, was its most successful with six of the seven runners achieving personal bests. Senior captain Kiera Lyons finished second at the event with a time of 22:35.69 in the 6k. This mark is the fastest out of any runner in the Landmark Conference this season and was just eight seconds short of matching the school record she set last season. Lyons’ performance earned her the Landmark Conference Athlete of the Week honor. Lyons was not alone on the winners podium this past event, with freshman Paige Wilderotter placing third with a time of 23:01.3.
The team contributes much of its success to their new workout regimen implemented by Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Steve Rahn. Junior captain Alex Filiault has certainly noticed the difference between this season and those of the past.
“The fact that we have team practice every day helps because it keeps everyone accountable, and we all run faster in a group as opposed to running alone,” commented Filiault. “We also have a lifting routine now and we have incorporated workouts that let our muscles rest, which is keeping everyone healthier and in shape.”
The team has a period of rest before returning to action on October 13th. The Cards next race is the Hood Open at Utica Park in Frederick, Maryland. This will be the teams final meet before the Landmark Conference Championships on October 27th in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The team also sits as the highest ranked team in the Landmark Conference and will look to make noise there before the NCAA South/Southeast Regional meet in Mt. Berry, Georgia.