Photo credit Hope College
Holland, Mich. – Junior Elizabeth Deaton led the way for the Transylvania cross country team at the 2016 NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional hosted by Hope College on Saturday afternoon.
Representing one of seven Transy runners on the women's side, Deaton placed first among the Pios and 129th overall in a field of 232 runners. Competing in a 6-kilometer distance race, Deaton established a new PR as she crossed the finish line in 24:33.9 seconds.
The time was not only Deaton's personal best, but the fourth-fastest time in Transylvania women's cross country history. The race finished off a solid first season for the transfer Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.
"Individually, everyone did well today and we were really glad to see the performance from Liz," said head coach Heidi Pinkerton.
Following Deaton for the Pioneers women was sophomore Rebecca Facktor, who finished in 25:59.0, and senior Cora Kerber, who set a PR of 26:00.5. Junior Riley Bresnahan finished fourth among the Pioneers, and was followed by freshman Jennai Mitchell, sophomore Sadie Middleton, and freshman Ashley Dragan. It was a PR for Dragan, who completed her race in 29:28.1 on a course that the Pioneers found favorable.
"Weather was great today, and the course was flat, and we were able to make the most of the conditions," added Pinkerton.
The Transylvania men's group of seven also enjoyed a stellar Saturday in their 8K race, led by freshman Charlie Jordan. The freshman crossed the line in 28:56.1 and was followed closely by senior Evan Reister, who set a PR with a time of 29:10.8. Four other Pioneers men's runners set PRs on this day, including Jordan Hancock, Brian Mudrak, Michael Clore, and Giovanni Hernandez.
The regional completed a productive 2016 season for Transylvania, which saw continued growth for both the women's and men's programs.
"I think breaking into establishing more new top times in school history and being able to re-write the record books is one of the ways in which our program got stronger this season," continued Pinkerton. "We've added more depth this year than we have had in the past, and there's been a special enthusiasm among our team that's led to increased competition."
A season chock full of PRs and consistent performances from multiple freshman have set the Pioneers on a course for quickly arriving future success, both into the spring track and field season which many of the runners plan to participate in, as well as the next cross country season for Transylvania.
"Our team culture has changed, it's a family who works hard for each other, and they feel like they can take another step," said Pinkerton.
For more on Transylvania cross country, follow their official twitter @TransyXCTF