Cross-country earns 10th place in conference

David Dunkleberger, Contributing Writer

The women on UPJ’s cross-country team ended their 2011 season on a bitter note. This feeling came from the 10th place finish at the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship.

The championship, hosted by Concord University (Athens, W.Va) involved 13 conference teams. Seton Hill finished first with a time of 1:58:43.69. The UPJ women’s team finished with a time of 2:16:15.12.

After struggling in their championship meet, the UPJ women still have high expectations for next season.

“Going in to the season, our team did not have much experience,” said junior runner Amber Emery. “We have a young team. Only two of our nine girls were returners from last season.

“I’m really excited for next season. We will have a lot of girls returning, and hope to add some talented freshmen. This should give us more of an edge next season when we compete.”

UPJ has a rather small cross-country team. Their roster includes only nine women. Other teams have numbers ranging from 15 to 30 women. Numbers like these factor in during the season and usually are not beneficial.

“I wasn’t sure how the season would turn out competing for a team with such a small roster,” said freshman Christy Monnie.

“Our small team roster ended up helping us become a close group. We were able to push one another in practices and competitions.”

UPJ senior Emily Doll finished 54 out of 97 in her final cross-country race. Doll said she feels success will be in the cross-country women’s team’s future.

“I’m happy with how close our team became this season. We pushed each other to do our best and this made races easier to run,” said Doll.

“These girls definitely have a bright future ahead of them. As long as they stick together and continue to work hard, you will see them as one of the top teams in the conference.”

The team’s top finish was at the Oct. 22 Gannon/Mercyhurst Invitiational, where they recorded a fourth-place finish.