Four runners set personal best times as the University of the Sciences women's cross country team raced to their best finish at the Lehigh/Paul Short Invitational since the 2012 season with a 15th place finish Friday afternoon in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The race, held in less than ideal conditions with rain and wind, saw the Devils place 15th amongst the 44 schools that put runners on the starting line. Their 15th place finish was their best showing at the Paul Short meet since a 12th place effort in 2012.
Sophomores Jessica Fraone (Oakcrest HS/Mays Landing, N.J.) and Samantha Frear (Tunkhannock HS/Factoryville, Pa.) along with freshmen Regan Asay (Ridge HS/Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Emily Brand (Whitehall HS/Whitehall, Pa.) all recorded personal best times for the 6,000-meter race.
Asay was the second Devil to cross the finish line finishing 86th amongst the 328 finishers with a time of 24:44, the second fastest time by a freshman Devils runner at the Paul Short meet, next to the 24:20 posted by Brianna Ligotski (Holy Redeemer HS/Hanover Twp., Pa.) in 2012. Ligotski was the Devils top finisher in this year's meet, placing 61st overall with a time of 24:25.
Brand, Fraone and Frear were the Devils fourth, fifth and sixth finishers on the day while recording personal best efforts. Brand placed 113th overall with a time of 25:16 while Fraone was 125th with a time of 25:28. Frear was 168th overall with a time of 26:29.
Sandwiched between the two freshman finishers (Asay and Brand) was senior Grace John (Council Rock North HS/Newtown, Pa.). John placed one second ahead of Brand with a time of 25:15 and was 112th overall. Bridget Houghton (Cardinal O'Hara HS/Newtown Square, Pa.) rounded out the Devils competitors on the day, finishing with a time of 27:06.
USciences' top five finishers all placed within 1:04 of each other, their smallest 1-5 gap on the season in their four races.
The women's cross country team is back in action next week on October 10, 2015 at the Jack St. Clair Invitational at Belmont Plateau.