BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Bobcats continue to trend upwards as the Quinnipiac women's cross country team placed 20th (out of 48 teams) in the Paul Short Women's Gold 6k Run. It was freshman Niamh Ashe (East Islip, N.Y.) again leading the way for the Bobcats on Saturday as she crossed the line in 35th place, fifth-fastest among all the freshmen competitors. The Bobcats' 20th place result was ahead of regional power Albany as Quinnipiac finished with 609 points while Georgetown University picked up the team victory with 112 points.
"I was happy with how the women raced today," said Quinnipiac head coach Carolyn Martin. "We still need to do a better job packing up, but we beat some pretty good teams today so it was exciting. The women are gaining more confidence in larger races which is going to help us race well at regionals."
Ashe moves her impressive streak to three consecutive races wherein she was the top-finishing Bobcat. Her time of 21:16 was good enough for the fastest on the Quinnipiac squad and the fastest time for any Bobcat runner in a 6k this season. She crossed the line well more than a minute faster than her previous season-high of 22:53 in the team's last event, the Iona Meet of Champions. Adding to the impressive run was the field of 406 fellow competitors Ashe needed to navigate through to achieve her result.
Trailing behind Ashe for the majority of the race was the Bobcats' grouping of seniors Jess Soja (Simsbury, Conn.) and Brianna Faust (Macungie, Pa.). The senior combo finished in 117th and 119th place, respectively, as they positioned themselves well amongst a crowded field of 48 representative institutions. Soja's 6k time of 21:59 marked her third straight season in which she has recorded an improved time from the previous year's Paul Short Run. Much like the 2012 result, Soja finished second-fastest on the team and showed significant improvement from a year prior. Faust meanwhile took down 119th place with a time of 22:00 which was another massive improvement from a year ago in which she crossed the line in 22:36 at the 2012 Paul Short Run.
Rounding out the field for the Bobcats was sophomore Tracy Campbell (Wall Township, N.J.) who notched a 160th place result out of 406 runners. Her finishing time of 22:18 was the most-improved time of any Bobcat from last season. She raced to 24:00 at the 2012 event, nearly a full two minutes behind her result this season, and helped add to the great depth put on display on Saturday by the Bobcats.
Sophomore Chelsea Savage (Pembroke, Mass.), senior Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.) and freshman Allison Decker (Milford, Pa.) finished as the fifth through seventh runners on the Bobcat roster to wrap up the scoring on the day.
Quinnipiac will have a quick turnaround now for the New England Championships, held next Saturday from Franklin Park in Boston, Mass.
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