Five Salem Runners PR in Salem College Invite
The 2nd Annual Salem College Cross-Country Invitational was held Saturday, September 16. Seven teams competed for the coveted title of champion. When the mud was through flying and the course was cleared, Wellesley College of Massachusetts scored a perfect score to dominate the tough, hilly 5000 meter course in Winston-Salem.
Wellesley’s Clare Egan was the overall individual winner with a course-breaking time of 19:22 for the 5K. Egan was followed by seven consecutive teammates of the Wellesley Blue.
Salem’s Rachel Fichthorn (Nokesville, VA) and Lauren Meek (Draper, VA) once again medaled for the Spirits by placing 12th (21:34) and 18th (23:03). Mae Sanders (Winston-Salem, NC) finished 3rd for the team and an overall 27th place with a time of 25:17. Right behind Sanders was Rachel Aderholdt (30th, 25:40), Julie Bigsby (31st, 25:42) and Ariel Barker (32nd, 25:53).
As a team, the Spirits finished 4th overall out of seven teams. “I was a little disappointed with the team results after being spoiled with 2 team victories in as many weeks,” said Coach Widner after the meet. “After I sat down in my office and reviewed the times of my athletes, my disappointment disappeared. I realized that 5 out of 6 athletes had run faster than last week on the same course. Ariel Barker (Monroe, NC) had a break through race by bettering last week’s time by 1:26. Rachel Aderholdt (North Augusta, GA) is battling a virus, but she still finished 34 seconds faster. Mae Sanders finished almost a minute faster and sprinted down a Southern Virginia runner in the last 100 meters. Mae lets me know that that’s not bad for being 39 years old. Both Rachel and Lauren bettered last week’s time by over 30 seconds. Julie Bigsby (Salisbury, NC) felt fatigued the entire race, but yet she only ran 8 seconds slower than last week. That’s not bad after a tough week of practice. Julie is spunky and will rebound from this experience. Bigsby is a hard worker and a great team player.”
The Spirits will compete next Saturday in the Old North State Invitational at Hagan Stone Park in Greensboro, NC. Last year, Rachel Fichthorn finished 4th in this race, which is considered the North Carolina NCAA Division II/III Cross-Country Championship.