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Cross Country Wins North Carolina DIII Championships

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October 18, 2008

Cary. NC- Rachel Fichthorn (Nokesville, VA) won her third consecutive individual state cross-country title and Salem College captured the top three finishes to help win their second consecutive North Carolina State Cross-Country Championship this morning in Cary, NC.

Fichthorn broke the 6,000 meter school record by 10 seconds despite running by herself most of the race and dealing with headwinds on three very long up hills. Fichthorn’s time of 24:49 broke her own school record (2006) and was over 2 ½ minutes faster than her next competitor.

 Salem College’s Lauren Meek (Draper, VA) placed second overall (27:22) and Julie Piernikowski(Potomac, MD) finished third (27:46). Fichthorn, Meek, and Piernikowski were named to the North Carolina NCAA Division III First Team for their efforts.

Kirsten Roberts (Abingdon, VA) earned a spot on the North Carolina NCAA DIII Second Team as she finished eighth overall (28:40). Jessi Martinez (Houston, TX) stepped up to finished as Salem’s fifth scoring member, helping the Spirits win the championship. Alyssa McGinnis (High Point, NC) and Kelsey Rector (State Road, NC) also competed and represented Salem College well.

 “I was very proud of the team today as they stepped up to the challenge," said Head Coach J.P. Widner. "It was a tight race against Meredith College and the ladies performed well. Rachel, Lauren, and Julie ran up to their potential to capture the top three spots. Jessie ran incredible as she ran her best of the entire season. Jessi is such an inspiration to the team as she continues to improve each week in practice and the weekend meets.”

Salem College will return to action on Saturday, November 1, as they will compete in the USA South Conference Championship as a special guest team.


NC D-III X-C First Team

NC D-III X-C Second Team

1. Rachel Fichthorn- Salem

  1. Kirsten Roberts- Salem

2. Lauren Meek- Salem

2. Katie Helms- Meredith

3. Julie Piernikowski- Salem

3. Ashley Simms- Peace

4. Audrey Darby- Meredith

4. Lauren Connell- Meredith

5. Jessica Panameno- Meredith

5. Rebecca Werner- Meredith

6. Joyce McLeod- Meredith

6. Juliana Richardson- NC Wesleyan

7. Lauren McDonald- Meredith

7. Lacie Bradley- NC Wesleyan



Team Scores:


1. Salem College- 26


2. Meredith College- 31


3. Peace College- DNS


4. NC Wesleyan College- DNS



Salem College NCAA GSAC