Rinehardt Wins 5,000 Meter at PL Championships

Rinehardt Wins 5,000 Meter at PL Championships

Octavia Rinehardt won the women's 5,000 meter run Saturday on the final day of competition at the 2011 Patriot League Championships to highlight strong performances by the American University men's and women's track and field teams.

Rinehardt captured her second career 5,000 meter title with a winning time of 17:36.37. The junior also won the event at the 2009 championships and earlier this season captured both the 3,000 meter and 5,000 meter titles at the indoor championships.

Erin Koch and Jeff Brannigan each earned a place on the All-Patriot League Second Team as Koch placed second in the 1,500 meter run and Brannigan was the runner-up in the men's 5,000 meter. Koch crossed the line in and ECAC qualifying time of 4:25.70, less than three seconds behind Navy's Jess Palacio who won the event in 4:22.58. The senior was joined in the event by freshman Alexandra Tyburski who placed fifth in 4:38.91, the ninth fastest time in program history.

Brannigan took second in the 5,000 with an IC4A qualifying time of 14:34.57. He was followed by Mark Allen who took fifth in 14:48.38 and Craig Brown who placed eighth in 15:02.88. Brown also turned in a scoring performance in the 1,500 meter run, taking fourth in 3:54.25.

Also scoring for American on Saturday were Conor Sullivan and Zach Wright. Sullivan placed fifth in the 800 meter run in 1:52.43 to move into eighth place on the school's all-time top 10 list. Wright, meanwhile, tied for fifth in the high jump by clearing a final height of 6' 8.25". Wright broke his own school record in the event in the process, topping his previous best of 6' 6.25" set on April 10, 2010.

The men's team finished in sixth place overall in the team competition while the women took eighth.