SBU sophomore Kerry Caher receiving an all-conference award from Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade. (Photo credit: Chris Spiker)
MECHANICSVILLE, Va. – All seven St. Bonaventure women's cross country runners set personal records, led by sophomore Kerry Caher's all-Atlantic 10 and school-record finish, as the Bonnies finished 11th at the Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships.
The Bonnies scored 288 points, defeating last place Virginia Commonwealth University by 48 points. George Washington University did not score after having only four of their runners finish the race.
Duquesne University (53 points) won their first women's Atlantic 10 championship, host University of Richmond finished in second place with 73 points and La Salle University finished in third place with 118 points. George Mason University senior Bethany Sachtleben won the individual title, running the fastest time in the championship's 25-year history of 16:54.6.
Caher crossed the finish line in 13th place with a time of 17:35.0, besting her Bonaventure 5k record by 63.3 seconds, set at Canisius College on Oct. 19. As a top 15 finisher, Caher was named to the all-Atlantic 10 team, the first honor by a St. Bonaventure women's runner in team history.
Head coach Bob Macfarlane said he was impressed with Caher's aggressive racing strategy, running a 5:34 first mile.
"She got out in the beginning to be in the top 20 and she stayed there the whole way," Macfarlane said. "She put herself in a position at the (one mile mark) to be in the top 15. She challenged herself and was willing to take a risk."
Senior Kady Weisner finished in 46th place overall with a time of 18:25.9, topping her personal record by 21 seconds. Junior Izie Dickinson (19:36.6) was the third runner for the Brown and White, finishing in 93rd place and improving her personal record by 8 seconds. Dickinson rose from No. 8 to No. 6 and Weisner improved her second-best time on the all-time Bonaventure 5k record list.
Freshman Alexis Young finished in 102nd place overall with a time of 20:11.9, setting a new personal record by 8 seconds. Sophomore Rachel Dorogi (20:30.0), junior Taylor Greene (20:34.4) and freshman Julia Mericle (20:36.5) finished together in 107th, 108th and 109th places respectively.
Dorogi bested her personal record by 21 seconds, Greene improved her personal record by 26 seconds and Mericle decreased her personal record by 25 seconds.
Junior captain Hannah Robinson, sophomore Aubrie Russell and freshman Courtney Brinsky missed the race due to injury. Macfarlane said all of the runners rose to the occasion in response to the three injuries.
"Our top three today really stepped up," Macfarlane said. "Our other four runners were able to get into the mid-20's. It just shows that hard work pays off."
With temperatures in the low 60's and a flat, open course with a soft grass surface, Macfarlane said he believed Pole Green Park was an ideal course for fast times.
"The conditions were just perfect," Macfarlane said. "The course was beautiful, the weather was perfect and everything just seemed to fall into place for PRs."
St. Bona will have a week off before finishing their season at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx, N.Y. The 6k race will start at 1 p.m. and is hosted by Manhattan College.
Check back on GoBonnies.com this week for a video recap of the Bonnies at the Atlantic 10 Championships.