By Adam Schabel
The Cleveland State University cross country team picked up a couple of victories at the Jenna Strong Fall Classic which took place on Oct. 13 in Wilmington, Ohio. The team came in first place overall and senior Karen Barrientos won the individual title.
Barrientos set a personal record and a team record with a 5K time of 17:59. She became the first Viking ever to run a 5K in under 18 minutes.
“I was so excited. I really didn’t think I was going to get first but I told myself I have to give it my all, this is my last chance to break 18 [minutes], I have to do it,” Barrientos said.
In addition to Barrientos, the Vikings had two other runners who finished in the top-five. Freshman Anna Brandt came in third place with a career-best 5K time of 18:25. Sophomore Jessica Finley finished fifth overall with a 5K time of 18:48.
“I was really excited to see everyone finish so close, it was awesome,” Brandt said.
This is the second time this season that the Vikings have had their top three runners finish with 18-minute 5K times. All three times also rank in the top-20 of Cleveland State’s Top Performances List.
Senior Samantha Butterbaugh came in 11th place with a time of 19:13 and Sophomore Olivia Hammons finished with a time of 19:44 and a 26th place finish.
The next Viking to finish was freshman Kylie Scott who came in 31st with a time of 19:55.
Right behind her were freshmen Samantha Meyer and Abbey Rojeck with times of 20:48 and 21:08, respectively.
Sophomore Anna Beasley and a pair of seniors in Emily Marshall and Bridget Smik rounded out the runners for Cleveland State. Marshall finished in 21:39, Beasley finished with a time of 22:22 and Smik finished the race in 22:48.
“I knew early on, during our very first meet, that this was a special team,” Head Coach, Joe Jaketic said. “When we got the results, I saw we beat Youngstown State and Robert Morris and we beat some other teams that in the past, we weren’t competitive with them.”
During their week off from competition, the Vikings were preparing for the 2017 Horizon League Championship which took place on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Oakland University.
The team received more good news. It was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 25 that Karen Barrientos was named to the 2017 Cross Country All-Academic Team.
The 10-person team consists of runners from six different schools, including Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Green Bay, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Northern Kentucky and University of Illinois at Chicago also have runners representing their schools on the team.
The senior owns 5K and 6K records at Cleveland State and set a personal 5K record this season.
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