Sep 7, 2013
OAKDALE, N.Y. – It was déjà vu all over again for the Seton Hall women’s cross country team on Saturday as for the second consecutive year, the team posted a second-straight runner up finish to start the season; placing second at the 4K St. John’s-Hofstra Fall Festival behind the same trio that led the way in last week’s opener.
The Pirates’ top four runners finished inside the top-15 among Division I competitors at the meet, helping the team end the day with a total of 51 points; 25 ahead of Hofstra in third and 27 points better than BIG EAST rival St. John’s.
Only a Manhattan squad that recorded a team total of 45 points went lower on the day.
Senior tri-captain Nyala Eddings (Chicago, Ill.) continued to firmly entrench herself as the team’s pace-setter, leading the squad for the third consecutive outing dating back to the 2012 finale. Her time of 15:35.61 was third best among Division I entrants. Fellow tri-captain Mary Migton (Ledgewood, N.J.) crossed the line less than two ticks later with a final mark of 15:37.06, making it two straight weeks that the two team leaders have finished back-to-back in the top-10 overall.
Both Eddings and Migton finished more than 20 seconds ahead of STJ’s top competitor Michelle Duffy (16.01.64) despite the fact that the meet was run on St. John’s Oakdale campus.
Freshman Desyre Blackburn (Aloha, Ore.) was the 10th Division I competitor to complete the 4K distance, making it a second top-three team finish in as many appearances with a final time of 16:17.95. Fellow newcomer Bri Miller (Bayonne, N.J.) stepped up in a big way as well in her second career meet, registering a 13th place finish among Division I runners by edging out co-host Hofstra’s second-best performer on the day with a 16:33.93 effort that marks the first scoring time of her career.
Through four finishers, Seton Hall was heavily in contention to claim a team victory, trailing Manhattan by just one point.
Junior Allyson Guieb (Robbinsville, N.J.) was the next Pirate to reach the finish, capping a career day by also scoring for the first time in an SHU uniform; placing 21st in the division (17:00.61) and only slightly behind a pair of Jaspers.
Sophomore Amanda Catherall (Farmingdale, N.Y.) has exhibited significant improvement in the first two races of the year and finished just outside the top-25 competitors in the division on Saturday (17:28.29) after a strong showing at Monmouth a week ago.
Senior Kristen May (Shrewsbury, Mass.) rounded out the team’s top-seven performers; finishing among the top-30 with a time of 17:37.83.
A symbol of the enhanced depth on the squad, seven Pirates have now contributed scoring efforts through two races after only six team members scored over the entire 2012 season.
The team will return to action next Saturday, September 14 when they travel to the Delaware Invitational. Start-time for the women’s race is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Newark, Del.