ST. LOUIS--The Bellarmine University men's cross country surprised the whole field as they finished in third place in GLVC Championship while the BU women, led by individual champion Emily Frith, finished in fifth place out 14 teams in the meet being run at Forest Park.
Frith once again continued to show why she is All American winning the six kilometer race with a time of 21:12. Her first place finish was also a very impressive 25 seconds in front of the second place finisher Erika Wilson of Southern Indiana. By virtue of the win, Frith was named as the GLVC Runner of the Year award that was presented after the races. Frith's time was the sixth fastest 6K time in Bellarmine history and the fastest 6K time in the GLVC this year. The first place finish was also the second straight year that a Bellarmine runner has won the individual conference meet as Angela Musk finished in first place last year.
Coach Kris Horton was extremely pleased about Frith's performance, saying, "It was good to see her so comrfortable, since she is running at peak mileage and I know she's been a little dead legged. It was also good to see her pick up Runner of the Year honors."
Other top finishers for the women were Flannery Musk (24th, 22:59), Rachel Clemons (29th, 23:09), Cindy Kiefer (30th, 23:09) and Briana Ulanowski (34th, 23:14), who all scored for the Knights.
Horton was satisfied with his team's performance, saying, "We finished fifth which is where we were ranked so that was okay. Our pack didn't get out as fast as we wanted to the first kilometer and it was hard to make up ground. We're young and this was a good experience for us as a team. I was happy with the improvement everybody made today."
Horton was also happy with Ulanowski's perfomormance. Horton said, "Briana had a phenomenal race. It really gave us the boost we needed."
Placing ahead of the Knights were Southern Indiana (56), which all of their places were in the top 20 runners, Wisconsin Parkside (75), Lewis University (82), Indianapolis (96) and Bellarmine (118) to round out the top five.
For the men, who according to Coach Jim Vargo "were not expected to finish better than seventh or eighth," finished in third. The men were led by Robert Sandlin, Jr., who finished in 10th with a time of 25:07. The top 15 finish earns Sandlin All-GLVC honors. Other top finishers for the Knights were Taylor Sanders (20th, 25:47), Joshua Rodenberg (21st, 25:49), Nick Christensen (24th, 25:54) and Cody Parks (25th, 25:54), who all placed for the Knights.
Vargo was extremely pleased with his team as he said, "It was one of the best men's team efforts in my coaching career and for Bellarmine Cross Country. Third place was a huge achievement for this program. Today was one of my proudest moments as director and coach of this program."
Southern Indiana (24), who had all of their scorers finish in the top 10 and Lewis (88) finished ahead of Bellarmine (100). Indianapolis (132) and Drury (149) finished to round out the top five.
Both the men and women will sprint on as they run in the NCAA Midwest Regional Meet in two weeks in Kenosha, Wisconsin.