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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Running ahead

Women’s cross country places sixteenth at Regionals

Sophomore Lindsey Oremus and senior Sarah Regnault shattered their Blue and White Golf Course 6k times while leading the Saint Joseph’s University women’s cross country team to a 16th-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals on Nov. 11.

Last season, the Hawks placed 11th at the Regionals meet, with an average 6k time of 22:39.9 on West Windsor Fields at Princeton University, a course that is considerably flatter than the one they raced on this year at Pennsylvania State University. This season, the Hawks improved their average 6k time to 22:32 at the Blue and White Golf Course.

“Overall, I was satisfied with the performances,” Head Coach Melody O’Reilly said. “Although it doesn’t look on paper that we ran as strong as last year, we really still had some very strong performances.”

Oremus came in as St. Joe’s top runner with a time of 21:51, good for 45th place overall. It was over a minute faster than her previous time on the course.

Regnault came in as St. Joe’s number two runner with a 58th-place finish in 22:01.

Photo courtesy Brian Crilly
Photo courtesy Brian Crilly

“Knowing that this is the last big race for myself [motivates me],” Regnault said. “I kind of wanted to go out with a bang. I was only a couple seconds off my 6k PR and running 22:01 at Penn State is huge for me.”

On Sept. 10, the Hawks raced on the Blue and White Golf Course. Oremus finished in 22:54 and Regnault finished in 24:12.

According to Regnault and O’Reilly, the team had spent time throughout the season training to prepare for hilly courses, such as the one at Penn State. Regnault believes that the specific training and being familiar with the course is what helped her and her teammates improve.

“When we were there in the beginning of the season, we were surprised by the course,” Regnault said. “[This time,] we came into it confident and stronger than we were in the beginning of the season. I think the whole atmosphere of just racing it and having a good time with it kind of put me in a great mindset.”

Junior Cassidy Weimer placed 81st overall with a time of 22:21, which is 51 seconds faster than what she ran on Sept. 10.

In their first cross country Regionals meet, freshman Meridith Twomey and junior Caroline Keegan rounded out the scoring for the Hawks, finishing with times of 23:02 and 23:25, respectively. Both runners improved on the Blue and White Golf Course times they set earlier in the season.

“Even Mary Twomey and Caroline Keegan, who are new to the team and never experienced a regional meet before, ran really well,” O’Reilly said. “We just needed to close that gap down a little bit better. If you let too many people in between, it can get away from you very quickly.”

The gap between the number three and four runners has been an issue for the Hawks all season, but O’Reilly has a plan for closing the gap next season. “When they work out, they work out very closely together,” O’Reilly said. “They run almost exactly the same times in their workouts in small groups. I think we’ll continue to do that, but we’ll probably do some workouts where we really focus on staying together, like tempo runs and different things where we have to stay connected and stay linked.”

Regnault, who grew up less than 50 miles from Van Cortland Park, is looking forward to closing out her final cross country season on a familiar course.

“Van Cortland has always been a special place in my heart,” Regnault said with a laugh. “I raced it all in high school, too. Knowing that that’s my last cross country meet, I kind of just want to go out there with a bang [and] probably do my best time at Van Cortland.”

The Hawks will close out the cross country season on Nov. 19 at the ECAC Championship, held at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, N.Y.

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