EMU Women Finish First Again

The women place first at the CNU Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 7.
The women place first at the CNU Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The Eastern Mennonite men's and women's cross country teams traveled down the road to New Market, Va. on Saturday afternoon to compete in the JMU Invitational.

In the Division III race, the Royals were joined by Shenandoah, Southern Virginia, Mary Baldwin, and Sweet Briar. The women finished first on a 5.2k course while the men ran individually on a 7.9k course.

In their second race of the season, the women finished at the top with a score of 27.

Senior Michaela Mast (Broadway, Va./Eastern Mennonite) placed first with a time of 20:51.0.

"After a strong last mile, Michaela held off a late surge from her nearest DIII competitor to finish first in that category," said interim coach Hannah Chappell-Dick of Mast's performance.

Finishing soon after were teammates Elizabeth Nisly (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) and Megan Good (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) who came in just under 22:00.0.

Just thirty seconds later, Emma Hoover (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh) joined teammates Kat Lehman (Dover, Ohio/Dover) and Laurie Serrell (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) to complete the race.

"Emma had a great race, closing the gap between herself and our 5th finisher, Laurie," said Chappell-Dick. "The tighter our pack gets, the better we will do when it counts: at ODAC's and Regionals."

Overall, Chappell-Dick was pleased with the women's performance.

"Our next runners were not far behind, which allowed us to finish with only 27 points to our ODAC rival Shenandoah's 42," she commented.

On the men's side, EMU had individual runners competing in the race. For freshman Justice Allen (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) and sophomore Diego Avila (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) the race marked new personal records, as the pair finished in the top 15.

Allen finished with a time of 28:40.0, while Avila was not far behind with a time of 29:13.0.

"We knew the course would be difficult, but most athletes still matched or even improved upon their finishes from last week, "said Chappell-Dick of the team.

Overall, the race had an incredible atmosphere and was immersed in Royal Blue.

"It was really encouraging to see so many from the EMU community out on the course cheering for the Royals," said Chappell-Dick. "The post-race energy was incredible."

The Royals are set to compete again on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa.