Youth Powers Women’s XC to 3rd at Shippensburg
By John Zak, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg College Women’s Cross Country team competed last Friday at the Galen Piper Invitational in Shippensburg, taking third place out of four in the third contest of their still early season.
The winner of the race was Pittsburgh, followed by Shippensburg and York (Pa.) placing second and fourth respectively.
Sophomore Kathrin O’Brien delivered the top placement for the Bullets, as she placed 19th out of 56 runners. O’Brien completed the 4,000 meter course in 16:40.3. Behind O’Brien was fellow teammate Amy Cantrell ’22 who captured the 20th spot while clocking in at 16:41.9.
Other Bullet runners who factored into scoring for the team were captain Ashlyn Booher ’22 who placed 25th and clocked in at 17:03.4, Amanda Addesso ’23 who placed 26th with a time of 17:11.8, and senior captain Leah Hill who came in 31st with a time of 17:29.7.
Displacers in the contest were two first-years, Rachel Nori and Emma Dieterle, who placed 42nd and 47th with times of 18:00.3 and 18:38.8 respectively.
This race was an important test for the team to display its improvement from last year and set the stage for further success in the young season.
Kathrin O’Brien and her consistency as top contributor to the team’s success is promising for a bright for future. As she starts her sophomore year, O’Brien has competed in seven races and managed to place in the top eight of the Bullets team each time.
For sophomore team captain Ashlyn Booher, the Shippensburg race also was successful as she made valuable contributions to the team by placing in the top 30. Booher is seeking to build on the success of her first season, as in all of her nine races she finished in the top eight. Booher also most notably placed 5th at the Centennial Conference Championship last fall.
The Shippensburg race also highlighted the talent of sophomore Amy Cantrell as her consistent performance is quickly revealing that she will be a key part to the team’s future.
Overall, the Shippensburg meet was a contest where the Women’s Cross Country team continued their development as a young squad looking towards the future.
Coach Aubrey Shenk, who after a 10 year tenure at Gettysburg College as coach announced his intention to retire after this season, commented, “The exciting part is the young team and watching it develop.”
Shenk continued to convey his confidence in the youth surrounding his team and how thinks it will positively impact the future in an article on the Gettysburg athletics website.
He later added, “It is already apparent that we have strong leadership from our captains and the entire team is all in.”
“Leah and Ashlyn are excellent role models who are committed and dedicated runners well suited to lead the cross country team,” Shenk added. “Leah, who dealt with and overcame several injuries in her early college career, has established a perseverance quality that few athletes possess. Ashlyn, the first sophomore captain of the women’s team, displays work ethic and grit that inspires others to follow.”
The team will have another opportunity to display its youthful talent at its next contest on the road at Franklin & Marshall on Friday.