Team effort lifts Panthers to one place better than last year
KEENE, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's cross country team turned in a solid performance Saturday afternoon, finishing fifth among seven teams at the Little East Conference Championships at Keene State College.
The Panthers had a team score of 120, behind fourth-place University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (94) and ahead of sixth-place Rhode Island College (144). Host Keene State (15) cruised to the team title with the University of Southern Maine (66) second and Eastern Connecticut State University (92) third.
The fifth-place finish is the best for PSU in the three years of competing in the Little East, jumping up one spot from last year.
"Our women are coming together at the right time," said PSU head coach John Ostler. "It's really difficult to have a consistent season like the one our top four has turned in. It's nice as a coach to know that I can rely on them to turn in predictable performances, especially now in the championship season."
PSU's top four finishers all placed between 21st and 36th among the 87 runners in the race. Freshmen Lora Giguere (Tolland, Conn.) and Haley Dennis (Coventry, R.I.) crossed the finish line in 21st and 24th place, respectively, with times of 20 minutes, 47 seconds and 21 minutes flat. Junior Sarah Uhlman (Ashland, Mass.) was 28th in 21:13 and sophomore Rileigh Goulette (St. Albans, Vt.) was 36th in 21:32.
Plymouth State's fifth runner was freshman Danielle Ahern (Chelmsford, Mass.), who finished 37th in a time of 22:07.
"Lora and Haley were consistent as always as were Sarah and Rileigh," said Ostler. "Danielle was a hero for us today; she had a career PR and helped us to our best 1-5 spread all year. Danielle and fellow freshmen Ashley Bergeron (Berlin, N.H.) and Jennifer Marcus (Eliot, Maine) all stepped up big to have career PRs when it counted most. That is a young trio but they weren't scared in their first college championship race."
The Panthers will compete again next Saturday at the ECAC Division III Championships, hosted by Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. PSU finished 32nd of 48 teams in last year's ECAC Championships.
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