BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The American University cross country team faced its most competitive field of the regular season on Friday at the prestigious Paul Short Run and came away with 12 new personal records (PR's) from both the men's and women's teams. Hosted by Lehigh, this was the 44th running of the national event, which fielded seven of the top 20 teams in the NCAA Division I.
The men started the day with a 19th-place overall finish in the 40-team field, beating Patriot League foes Lehigh (20th) and Boston University (22nd) along with Mid-Atlantic Region competitors Rutgers (No. 12), La Salle (No. 14), UMBC, Monmouth and Saint Francis (Pa.).
The Eagles had a slow start to the race after coming through the first 1,000-meters in 29th as a team. They picked it up well throughout the second half of the 8,000-meter course, though, behind senior Alaeldin Tirba and juniors Matthew Rainey and Ben Doiron, who kept a tight pack throughout the majority of the race.
Doiron took the lead for AU down the final stretch, finishing first for the squad for the second time this season with a 50th-place overall crossing and a new PR of 24:27. Tirba was just a few seconds behind in 24:30 for a PR 61st in the field, followed by Rainey in 70th with another PR of 24:37.
Seniors Liam Purdy and Sam Doud rounded out the top five finishers for AU with PR's of 25:01 and 25:35, respectively.
The women's race was a similar story, with the Eagles coming through the first mile in 35th as a team and making up good ground to eventually land in 28th overall. Among the teams outpaced by the Eagles were PL foe Holy Cross, along with Mid-Atlantic Regional competitors La Salle, Rutgers, Delaware, and Towson.
Junior Adriana Hooks continued to lead the team for the third time this season, crossing with a new PR of 21:15 over 6k. She was followed by freshmen Nadia Stratton and Shelbi Wuss, who cut off well over a minute from their 6k debuts at the Navy Invitational three weeks ago. Stratton was second across the line for AU in 21:46 for 168th overall, followed by Wuss in 21:49 for 177th.
The Eagles will finish the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Princeton Invitational. For the latest on AU Cross Country, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter.
#AUXC MEN'S RESULTS
50. Ben Doiron, Jr. – 24:27
61. Alaeldin Tirba, Sr. – 24:30
70. Matthew Rainey, Jr. – 24:37
131. Liam Purdy, Sr. – 25:01
232. Sam Doud, Sr. – 25:35
244. Tommy Sommer, Jr. – 25:40
349. Gerard D'Ambrosio, So. – 27:04
#AUXC WOMEN'S RESULTS
99. Adriana Hooks, Jr. – 21:15
168. Nadia Stratton, Fr. – 21:46
177. Shelbi Wuss, Fr. – 21:49
183. Brianna Belo, Sr. – 21:51
193. Arianna Lopez, So. – 21:58
222. Kassidy Ayres, Jr. – 22:14
315. Jude Mabone, Sr. – 23:17
346. Kaitlyn McTernan, So. – 23:55
353. Katelyn Deibler, So. – 24:10