Sailfish Women's Cross Country Posts Solid Showing at Mountain Dew Classic

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Sailfish Head Coach Sonja Friend-Uhl Gathers with Her Team at the Mountain Dew Classic. Sailfish Head Coach Sonja Friend-Uhl Gathers with Her Team at the Mountain Dew Classic.

GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Running in their second race of the season, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s cross country team continued to make positive strides as they competed on Saturday in one of the biggest races of the season at the Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by the University of Florida. The Fish finished 11th as a team while junior Meghan Gilmore continued her great start by collecting a fifth overall finish as an individual.

Coming off last week’s impressive showing at the Florida Tech Invitational, Gilmore and her teammates had even higher hopes for this week as they competed in a much larger field that included 22 total teams including many from the NCAA Division I level.

After winning last week’s FIT Invitational with a time of 17:59 in the women’s 5K, Gilmore competed against an even better group of runners this week while improving her time by 17 seconds in finishing at 17:42 to put her in fifth place overall. Gilmore’s time was only 11 seconds off the lead which was captured by the University of Jacksonville’s Joane Pierre who completed the course at 17:33.

Gilmore’s time placed her as the top NCAA Division II runner in the field as the entire top-10 minus the Sailfish junior lined up for Division I schools such as the University of Florida, Florida Atlantic, the University of South Florida, the University of North Florida, and the University of Miami. The University of Tampa’s Heather Nicolosi was the next closest Division II runner at 17:56, good for 11th place.

Following Gilmore’s impressive run came freshman Victoria Cabrera who completed her first collegiate race in good time by placing in a time of 19:57 which put her in 70th place overall. The 5’0” Miami, Florida native finished the race by averaging a 6:25 mile.

Sophomore Faith Warren wasn’t far behind her teammate Cabrera with an 80th place finish with a time of 20:08 for the 5K race. Freshman Danielle Kittell pulled in next with an 85th place at 20:16 while another freshman Morgan Skwira gave the Sailfish another top-100 runner at 95th place with a 20:35 time. Sophomore Katherine Harvey rounded out the Sailfish top-100 runners with a 99th place finish and a 20:38 time.

Marybeth Carlson and Sarah Walsh were the next Sailfish runners to cross the finish line at 20:49 and 21:54 respectively while Chelsea Motes rounded out the runners for PBA with a time of 23:30.

The host Gators were victorious in the team standings for the Mountain Dew Invitational with a team score of 41 while placing four runners in the top-10. Jacksonville placed a distant second at 111 points while South Florida, North Florida, and Tampa rounded out the top ten.

PBA’s team score placed them 11th overall and second behind UT for Division II schools at the race. The Fish were ahead of schools like Florida International University (11th), the University of Central Florida (12th), and Florida Tech (13th).

After a few weeks off from competitive racing, the Blue and White will be back at it again on October  9th as they will travel to Orlando, Florida and participate in another large race at the Walt Disney World Cross Country Invitational.

Full results can be found at: www.gatorzone.com via the Cross-Country Sports Page.

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