Panthers improve by eight places over last season
WATERFORD, Conn. – The Plymouth State University women's cross country team had a solid performance Saturday in the final race of the season, placing 40th out of 60 teams at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championships, hosted by Connecticut College at Harkness Memorial State Park.
The team finish for the Panthers marks an eight-place improvement over the same race last year, when they were 48th out of 57 teams. The 2015 campaign was just the third varsity season of women's cross country at Plymouth State, and the second under head coach John Ostler.
"The women ran very well," said Ostler. "I asked them to step out of their comfort zone and take smart risks with their pace and they all bought in. Above all the women had a nice improvement over last year. That's all I can ask for as a coach, to get better every year."
Freshman Haley Dennis (Coventry, R.I.) and junior Sarah Uhlman (Ashland, Mass.) were Plymouth State's top runners, turning in solid runs and placing 187th and 191st among the 390 runners in the race. Running a 6K race for the first time this season, Dennis covered the course in a school-record time of 24 minutes, 56 seconds, while Uhlman crossed the line in 25:02. Both times are faster than the previous school record of 26:16 held by Jen Carten.
"It is always special to set a new school record and it's even more fun to have multiple runners go under the previous mark," said Ostler. "Haley and Sarah have worked hard all year and really deserved to have a great last race."
PSU's next three runners all came across in a 13-second span. Freshman Lora Giguere (Tolland, Conn.) was 251st in 26 minutes, one second; freshman Ashley Bergeron (Berlin, N.H.) was 264th in 26:12; and sophomore Rileigh Goulette (St. Albans, Vt.) was 268th in 26:14. PSU's final two runners were freshmen Jennifer Marcus (Eliot, Maine) and Danielle Ahern (Chelmsford, Mass.), who were 296th and 315th, respectively, in 26:47 and 27:21.
"Lora had a down race, her first all year," said Ostler. "Her teammates rallied around her helped pick up her slack. Tops among them was Ashley, who had a breakout race. Her split through the 5k would have been a 33 second PR."
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