Women's Cross Country Earns Third-Place Finish

UABSPORTS.COM Junior Kirstin Anderson set a career-best time in the 6K Friday at the Panorama Farms Invitational.
Junior Kirstin Anderson set a career-best time in the 6K Friday at the Panorama Farms Invitational.

Oct. 14, 2011

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - In its final tune up before the Conference USA Championship, the East Carolina women's cross country team took third out of nine squads Friday afternoon at the Panorama Farms Invitational hosted by the University of Virginia. Senior Brittany Copeland set the Pirate 6K program record with a time of 21:20.64, topping Kay Livick's 21:26 performance in 2002.

The men sent six runners to the meet, but two did not finish and five are needed to record a team score.

The women, ranked ninth in the Southeast Region of the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association standings, competed against five other regionally ranked squads while the men took on eight. The Pirate women's squad trailed only Virginia, which is ranked No. 16 nationally, and UNC Greensboro, which is the No. 15 squad in the Southeast Region.

Paul Chelimo of UNC Greensboro won the men's individual title in an 8K time of 23:36.05, the second-fastest time in Panorama Farms history. UNCG's Ashley Schnell took home the women's crown with a time of 21:03.42.

The first ECU runner behind Copeland, who placed fifth, was classmate Amanda Lapp, who came in 18th overall with a career-best time of 22:15.95. The mark was the 15th best 6K in program history and nearly 42 seconds better than her previous top time. The Pirates' other top-25 finisher was senior Tara Wilson, who clocked out in 22:38.69 for 25th.

Junior Brooke Kott came in fourth on the squad and 27th overall with a personal-low 22:42.34 time. Sophomore Bjork Olsen was close behind, finishing the race in 23:13.03 to place 37th. Classmates Chelsea Hollingsworth (23:15.20) and Stefanie Fresenius (23:20.27) rounded out the top-40 performances, placing 39th and 40th, respectively.

Junior Britney Kott led the next group of Pirates, earning 44th place with a time of 23:30.47. Sophomore Amanda Tomlin matched her career-best time, clocking out in 24:06.46 to take 55th overall.

Placing 61st while running her first 6K was freshman Erin McGuirk, who clocked out in 24:24.10. Sophomore Kaylee Bythell (24:37.57) and junior Kirstin Anderson (24:39.10) finished back-to-back at 65th and 66th. Anderson's mark was a career best, beating her previous top time by more a minute.

Rounding out the women's squad were senior Andrea Barletta, who placed 74th with a time of 25:09.66, and sophomore Kelley Miko, who turned in a 25:28.90 time to take 78th.

For the men, junior Jakub Trzasalski paced the squad with a 26:41.91 time and 63rd-place showing in the 8K. Junior Antonio Palmer was close behind with a 26:54.78 mark to finish 68th. Freshman Adam Morrow took 99th place by completing the race in 28:55.00 while junior Daniel Porter completed the Pirate contingent with a 29:16.74 time to claim 102nd.

East Carolina takes next weekend off before running in the Conference USA Championship on Oct. 31 in Houston.