After not running for the majority of last season, senior Malissa Rains showed no ring rust, claiming fourth place at the Marty Uher invitational in California (Pa.), spearheading a Slippery Rock second-place team effort.
Slippery Rock’s 33 points were bested only by host California (Pa.) University, who finished with 25. Wheeling Jesuit finished a distant third with 78 points.
Rains’ strong first showing of the season is a good sign, as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships will be held on the same course in October. Rains finished the course in 26:55.7
Rains did not steal the show by herself, as the Green and White had a trio of runners also place in the top 10 behind her.
The Rock women ran the race in a bunch, with senior Caitlyn Janeda, junior Sabrina Palmier and junior Paige Diehl finishing fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Janeda finished only a 10th of a second behind Rains with a 26:55.8 time, while Palmier and Diehl finished in 26:56.9 and 27:08.8, respectively.
The Rock showed an all-around good team composition, having eight more runners place in the top 20.
Junior Madison Przicina led the way, finishing in 11th with a 28:40.7 time. Przicina was followed by senior Matti Dunham in 13th, sophomore Hannah Kenawell in 14th and sophomore Emily Johnson in 15th.
Sophomore Kacey Raible placed 16th, with sophomore Makaila Bank, junior Leslie Peterson and junior Ellie Pearson rounding out the top 20, finishing 18th, 19th, and 20th, respectively.
The Rock women have two weeks off before competing in the Division I/Division II challenge at Kutztown University on September 16th.