Cross Country To Host ECU Pirate Invitational

UABSPORTS.COM Sophomore Adam Morrow
Sophomore Adam Morrow

Sept. 19, 2012

GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina men's and women's cross country teams return home to host the ECU Pirate Invitational on Friday, Sept. 21. The women's 5K race is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Kristi in Grimesland. The men are set to compete upon conclusion of the women's race at 6 p.m.

Among the other collegiate teams that have been invited are Shaw University, North Carolina Central University and St. Augustine's University

The men's and women's programs have won the Pirate Invitational in each of the last three years. Redshirt junior Cory Hampshire is the two-time defending men's champion. Former Pirate runner Brittany Copeland secured the individual title in each of the last three seasons for the women.

Both the men and women finished third last weekend at the Adidas XC Invitational at the WakeMed Cross Country Course in Cary, N.C. The women's team after the strong finish went from unranked to placing ninth in the Southeast Region according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in the latest poll.

The women's team has been led this season by redshirt junior Stacey Gonzalez. The Raleigh native has been the program's top finisher in each of the first two competitions of the season. Her time of 17:42 was good for 12th in the race in Cary and ranks her 13th all-time at ECU in a 5K event. Other top finisher for the Pirates last week include junior Bjork Olsen (17:49.2/14th place), junior Chelsea Hollingsworth (17:59.8/15th place), redshirt sophomore Stefanie Fresenius (18:16.7/18th place) and freshman Shewit Weldense (18:27.9/19th place).

Redshirt sophomore Chase Miller was the top finisher for the men last weekend with a 15th place ranking in a time of 15:30.12. The time secured a seventh place tie for him in the all-time record books in a 5K event. Hampshire was the second Pirate to cross the finish line in Cary as he ran a 15:37.5 to earn 18th place and 11th all-time at ECU in a 5K event. Other top finishers for the men in the second race of the season include junior Jakub Trzasalski (15:54.7/19th place) and Brather Cline (15:54.9/22nd place).

After this weekend's meet both programs head to Charlotte for the Charlotte Cross Country Invitational on Friday, Sept. 28, starting at 3:00 p.m.