Wilmington, Ohio – The Transylvania cross country team got in another valuable meet Friday evening as the Pioneers competed in the 26th annual Jenna Strong Invite hosted by Wilmington University.
"Today's race is a sign that training is working extremely well," commented Transylvania head coach Taylor Throckmorton following the races. "The amount of growth and change this team has gone through in a year is incredible. Our fourth finisher ran faster today than our top finisher did at this meet last year."
Making their customary annual trip north to compete against a loaded field, 10 of 12 competing Pioneers set new personal best times on Friday. The Transylvania women's team was led by senior Rebecca Facktor, who led the Pioneers in the women's 5K race with a time of 21:31.4 to pace the Pioneers. Facktor came in 146th place against a field of over 300 runners.
Transylvania's women's squad took 32nd place at the event which included a deep assortment of regional teams from all three NCAA divisions with Division I Ball State University placing first.
"The women took a big step forward as well," added Throckmorton. "They dropped their top-five average time by 25 seconds from two weeks ago at our previous race at the Greater Louisville Classic. (Sophomore) Ally Priebe ran this race two minutes and 17 seconds faster than last year and I think this team can drop even more time going forward."
In the men's 8K race which followed, the Transylvania men's cross country team was paced by freshman Jacob Burnam, who finished in 26:40.1. Freshman Chauncey Longman came in second among Pioneers with a 28:36.0 run. Sophomore Darrell Corn clocked in at 29:01.8 to round out the top three for the Pioneers, who took 26th on the team standings.
Friday's showing played out impressively for the Pioneer men as all six competing racers set a new PR.
"I attribute a lot of the progress that is happening to the culture within the group," Throckmorton added. "Every practice is fun. Every run, the team is doing something to make it interesting. This group understands that this sport is about building relationships with teammates and pursuing personal growth. They are embracing that process and supporting each other and that culture is showing up in the results."
Transylvania will next compete in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships on Saturday, October 27 at the Blue River Memorial Park in Shelbyville, Indiana. This year's meet will be hosted by conference member Mount St. Joseph University. It will mark the team's second time this year competing at the venue after participating in the Mount St. Joseph Invitational on September 21.
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