Gilmore Claims NCCAA National Title While PBA Women Finish Fourth Overall
November 13, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
CEDARVILLE, Ohio- What a difference a year makes. After finishing 17th last season with their top runner finishing in 73rd place at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Women’s Cross Country Championships, the Palm Beach Atlantic women’s team not only vaulted themselves into a fourth-place team finish but saw standout junior Meghan Gilmore dominate the field for the individual championship.
Led by Coach Christy Rife, Gilmore and her teammates would travel to Cedarville, Ohio for the annual NCCAA Championships at the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course where they were greeted by mild weather conditions. Although cooler than the runners were used to in South Florida, the temperatures were not as cold as in some years as temperatures ranged in the mid-50’s with a calm wind and sunny skies.
To say dominate may be an understatement concerning Gilmore’s performance as the former University of Georgia women’s soccer player has transformed herself into one of the top long distance runners in all of NCAA Division II. Gilmore finished on Saturday with a time of 17:33 for the women’s 5,000 meters, which according to Cedarville records, is the seventh fastest time ever run at the prestigious course. The six faster times were all recorded by runners from NCAA Division I institutions.
Gilmore finished nearly a minute ahead of her next closest competitor on the day which came from Indiana Wesleyan’s Cassidy Wagner who completed the course in a time of 18:26.
“The weather was perfect and the course was great,” said Gilmore after the race.
“To have the guy’s team along with Coach Christy and Coach Ly cheering us on is the ultimate feeling in the world as I feel so blessed to be at a place like PBA,” continued Gilmore.
“I’m excited for NCAA regional’s next weekend as I continue to try and improve my pace,”
Malone College would take the team title as they placed three runners in the top-10 while placing all seven competing runners in the top-25 for a total team score of 46 points. Indiana Wesleyan took home a runner-up finish with 51 total points while Colorado Christian University posted 128 points for third place.
The Sailfish fourth place score was for 145 points as they had two freshmen in Victoria Cabrera and Morgan Skwira join Gilmore in the top-30 individual finishers.
Cabrera claimed a 24th place finish in the race with a time of 19:32 while Skwira placed 30th with an impressive time of 19:53.
Following up Cabrera and Skwira were more young runners for the Sailfish. Sophomore Katherine Harvey finished with a time of 20:31 which was 1:25 better than her showing as a freshman at last year’s race. Fellow sophomore Faith Warren was right behind at 20:36, which was 2:17 faster than her performance last year at the same course.
Freshman Danielle Kittell was just over the 21 minute mark with a time of 21:03 while freshman Sarah Walsh rounded out the PBA runners with a time of 22:05.
Gilmore will travel to Huntsville, Alabama on November 19th as she competes at the NCAA South Region race. A top-five finish in the 6,000 meter race will land Gilmore a spot at the NCAA Division II National Championships the following weekend.