Spirits Win Hagan Stone X-C Classic!
For the second week in a row, the Salem College Cross Country Team has proven that they are the #1 NCAA Division III team in the state of North Carolina. Running through the cold temperatures, the rain and the mud, the Spirits won the Division III race in the Hagan Stone Park Cross Country Classic on Saturday morning. The Final Division III scores were: 1.) Salem 44 2.) Meredith 45 3.) Guilford 50 4.) Greensboro 75 INC-Peace and Methodist.
Team captain Rachel Fichthorn (Nokesville, VA) captured the individual title as she ran her collegiate best time of 20:58 over the 5000 meter course. This is the 5th time in 6 races that Rachel has been the #1 NCAA Division III runner. “Rachel is a true team leader this year,” stated Coach Widner. “Rachel’s running knowledge has allowed her to help guide some of the younger athletes. This team is very fortunate to have such an inspiring leader and a great athlete.”
Just 6 seconds behind Fichthorn came her teammate Lauren Meek of Draper, VA. Meeks time of 21:04 was a new personal best by over 30 seconds as she was able to claim second place overall. Meek has placed either 2nd or 3rd in five out of her first six collegiate races. “Lauren has more heart and desire to become better than most runners you will ever meet,” according to Coach Widner. “To continuously improve every week shows me her potential has yet to be reached. Lauren sets a great example for all her teammates.”
Senior Rachel Aderholdt (North Augusta, GA) placed 15th and ran a personal best 24:10 despite a slightly sprained ankle. “Because of what this race meant to the team, Rachel wanted to run this race despite the ankle problem. After the start, the ankle loosed up on her, and she felt fine the rest of the race. Now that we have a weekend off coming up, Rachel will have time to heal and come back strong the final two races of the season.”
Julie Bigsby (Salisbury, NC) was the Spirit’s 4th runner today with a good effort of 24:22 good for 16th place. Mae Sanders (Winston-Salem, NC) finished in 25:09 for 21st place. After fighting off back spasms the past two days, Ariel Barker (Monroe, NC) ran great and placed 23rd with a time of 25:25, just one second off her seasonal best. Veronica Tremblay ran a 25:59, over 2 minutes faster than last week in just her second collegiate race.
“This past week, we were able to tweak the training and also the athlete’s mental focus on this race,” stated Coach Widner. “We set out to prove last week’s top placing among North Carolina colleges wasn’t a fluke. The Spirit harriers didn’t disappoint us with their great performance today. This gutsy performance is a tribute to all their hard work and sacrifice they make every single day in practice.”
The Salem College Cross Country Team will have this next weekend off to enjoy Fall Break with their families. On October 21, the Spirits will travel to Berea, Kentucky to compete in the 17th Annual Southeastern Cross Country Classic.