March 15, 2008
WASHINGTON - The American University men's and women's track teams opened their 2008 season on Friday with seven top 10 performances at the non-team scoring Coastal Carolina University Invitational. Seniors Kate Lilley and Brendan Fennell highlighted the Eagles day with victories in the men's and women's 3000 meter run.
Three members of the women's team competed in the 3000 meter run led by Lilley's first place performance. Lilley won the event in 10:03.42, a full 14 seconds faster than second-place finisher Britta Nelson of Towson. Meghan Mason finished eighth in the race with a time of 10:33.49 while Greta Wicklund took 10th in 10:35.11.
Lilley's winning time moved her into third place on AU's all-time top 10 list behind only record holder and All-American Keira Carlstrom (9:31.58) and Kelley Taylor (9:46.31). Mason's time topped her previous personal record and moved her from ninth to sixth on the all-time list and Wicklund moved to seventh.
Fennell won the men's competition in 8:17.88, just edging out teammate Steve Hallinan who took second in 8:18.34. The event's third-place finisher, Tom Kennedy who ran unattached, finished more than 25 seconds behind Fennell with a time of 8:43.23. Nick Ryan placed fifth in the event in 8:48.28.
Fennell bested his previous personal best in the event by 15 seconds and improved from fourth place to second on AU's top 10 list. The school's record time of 8:08.04 was set by Gary Cohen in 1973. Hallinan, who was previously not on the 3000 meter top 10 list, moved to third all-time.
Brandon Laks also had a top 10 finish for AU on Friday, placing fourth in the 10000 meter run. Laks ran the course in 32:56.16 while Tim Ross running unattached won the race in 31:58.24.
The American University men's and women's track teams will return to the track on Saturday for Day Two of the CCU Invitational.