The Pitt News

Pitt’s Gillian Schriever to race in NCAA Cross Country Championship

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Gillian Schriever is the second ever Pitt runner to race as an individual competitor in the NCAA Cross Country Championship. Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics

Gillian Schriever is the second ever Pitt runner to race as an individual competitor in the NCAA Cross Country Championship. Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics

Barry Shenck

Barry Shenck

Gillian Schriever is the second ever Pitt runner to race as an individual competitor in the NCAA Cross Country Championship. Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics

By Ashwini Sivaganesh | Assistant Sports Editor

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Sophomore runner Gillian Schriever told The Pitt News two weeks ago that she’s had to push herself to achieve the unlikely.

After placing 41st out of 131 competitors in last year’s ACC Championships, Schriever made a considerable jump up to fifth this year. At the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals over the weekend, she placed fifth again with a time of 20:30 in the 6k race, becoming Pitt’s second ever cross-country runner to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country National Championship.

Schriever finished fifth and qualified for the championships — a feat only accomplished once before by Pitt’s Maureen McCandless in 2004.

“It’s been 12 years since we’ve had one of our cross-country women make the meet,” Pitt head coach Alonzo Webb said in a press release Friday. “Gillian Schriever has been outstanding all season and [will reward] herself with a trip to the NCAA Cross Country National Championship next week.”

Besides Schriever, both cross-country teams found successes of their own at the Blue and White golf course in University Park, Pennsylvania, on Friday to end their regular seasons. Overall, the men’s team improved three places, finishing eleventh at the meet, and the women’s team maintained seventh from last year.

Vlasic and Schriever earned All-Region honors, with Vlasic finishing 23rd with a time of 21:16.

“I think our team has improved a lot this season, and I honestly feel that next year we can qualify as a team to the NCAA Championships,” Pitt women’s coach Adam Bray said in the release. “I’m really proud of the young women in our program. They are great athletes and even better people. I’m really lucky to have the opportunity to coach them.”

Leading the men’s team in the 10k, redshirt senior Michael Runco finished 31st with a time of 31:28, and junior Aaron Lauer finished 51st with a time of 31:48.

“I am proud of the progress that the men have shown throughout the 2016 cross-country season,” Pitt men’s coach Bryan Jackson said in the release. “I look forward to what the future holds for them.”

Schriever will compete as an individual runner at her first NCAA National Championship meet Saturday, Nov. 19, in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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Pitt’s Gillian Schriever to race in NCAA Cross Country Championship