Sailfish Cross Country Battles Against Top Tier NCAA Competition

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Deland, Fla.- Competing against not only some of the top competition in the state of Florida but beyond, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed this past weekend in the SODEXHO Hatter Invitational.

Once again putting together a solid performance was the running of senior Hannah Berg who finished 10th overall in the women’s field. With NCAA Division I schools such as FAU, FIU, UCF, Florida Gulf Coast, and Xavier University represented in the field, Berg put together a persona best of 19 minutes and 21 seconds.

The winning time was recorded by Florida International University senior Paola Reategui with a time of 18 minutes and 15 seconds.

In total, PBA finished 13th in the women’s field out of 20 competing institutions. Following Berg’s impressive time was sophomore Katie Livesay (Dayton, Tenn.) who finished at 22:58, followed by freshman Kelly Schwartz (Richland, Mich.) at 25:38. Rounding out the PBA women’s competitors were Tina Brown (Jacksonville, Fla.) at 25:41, Mackenzie LaRoe (Eustis, Fla.) at 26:02, and Montserrat Ripoli (Mexico City, Mexico) at 31:28.

“It was a tough overall race, because the competition was so strong,” said head coach Chi Ly. “With a lot of the runners getting personal records, it’s very satisfying to see that type of achievement towards the end our season,” continued Ly.

On the men’s side, PBA continues to make strides as the men’s cross country program was reinstated earlier this fall. The top finisher for the men was senior Nicholas Werse (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) who finished with a time of 35:05 followed by dual-sport standout Owen Grau (Kalamazoo, Mich.) at 35:19. Grau also competes on the diamond for head baseball coach Rob Avila.

Rounding out the finishers for the Sailfish included: Mike Winters (Miami, Fla.) 36:02, Kyle Pryce (N. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 37:09, Brian Orr (Jupiter, Fla.) 37:27, and Billy Schmidt (Mount Dora, Fla.) at 37:36.

Up next for the PBA cross country teams is the NCAA Division II South Regional which will take place in Huntsville, Alabama on Saturday, November 3rd. The race is scheduled for an 8:00 a.m. start time. Only two runners will compete for PBA; senior Hannah Berg and sophomore Katie Livesay.

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