After becoming Pitt’s only cross-country runner to qualify for the NCAA Championships this season, sophomore Gillian Schriever placed 106th out of 250 runners in the 6k with a time of 20:52.1 over the weekend.
Last week at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals, Schriever became the first Panther in 12 years to qualify for the race held at LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Heading into the biggest race of her career, Schriever had high expectations, saying she wanted to finish in the top 40 and be named an All-American.
Although she came up short in achieving her goal, ultimately finishing roughly 28 seconds off the All-American pace, her coaches believe this race will help Schriever moving forward.
“Today Gillian went out there and gave it everything she had, like she always does,” Pitt women’s distance coach Adam Bray said in a press release Saturday. “Unfortunately, she came up a little bit short, but the experience that she gained from this meet will make her that much better in the future.”
Schriever’s finish ranks second all-time among Panthers who have competed at the event, behind Maureen McCandless’s 20:38 fifth-place finish in 2004.
Schriever finished 1:10.5 after the eventual winner of the race, Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer, who finished with a time of 19:41.6. Oregon took home the team title with a score of 125, beating second-place Michigan by one point.
For the Panthers, this race marks the end of a season in which both teams showed improvement. Besides Schriever making it to the NCAA Championships, the men’s and women’s teams had a combined three first-place finishes, and each improved upon last year’s ACC Championship results.
“Gillian is showing that Pitt distance is on the rise and that special things are happening here,” Pitt head coach Alonzo Webb said. “For a young lady who just over a year ago came here just looking to try out for the team, I think it’s pretty incredible to find herself competing in the national championships.”
Schriever and the Panthers must now turn their attention to the Track and Field season, which kicks off Dec. 2, with the annual Blue-Gold Meet held at the Fitzgerald Field House.