Slippery Rock University senior Stephanie Case finished in first place at the Daniel Walker Invitational this past weekend, completing the 5,000-meter race in 18:23.
Case guided the Rock to a second place overall finish with 59 points, behind the women of Edinboro University, who won the meet with 23 points total.
“I was happy with my performance, but I realize there will be a lot more competition in the upcoming weeks,” Case said. “We also had a lot of Edinboro girls place in front of the rest of our pack, so that’s something we need to work on before the PSAC meet.”
Edinboro is projected to finish second in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, which will be held at SRU on October 20.
Karly Knechtel, Jordan Hausladen, Emilee Hertweck and Janine Powis made up the rest of The Rock’s top five, all finishing under 20:30, as well as in the top 20 of all racers.
The race last weekend was freshman Emilee Hertweck’s first collegiate competition.
“Before the race I was very nervous, not knowing how a collegiate level event would differ from high school,” Hertweck said. “Competition was definitely more extreme, but I was comfortable with my position and the pressure.”
The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association has nationally ranked the Rock at 21st overall among NCAA Division II teams.
Entering his 26th year as coach of the cross-country team, coach John Papa is both optimistic and critical of the performance of his team.
“The team did very well this weekend, but we certainly aren’t ready for a championship type performance yet,” Papa said.
“I am excited for what our team can do this year,” he said. “Our athletes all have a lot of potential.”
With no race this upcoming weekend, the Green and White will have the next week to rest and prepare for the first their first home invitational on Friday, September 14 at 5 p.m at Cooper’s Lake Campground.