Cross country: Panthers track team fills in at CMU Invitational

By Kelly Flanigan

The Pitt Panthers competed at the Carnegie Mellon University Invitational in Schenley Park last… The Pitt Panthers competed at the Carnegie Mellon University Invitational in Schenley Park last Saturday. But in a switcharoo, it wasn’t the cross country team hitting the trail — it was the women’s track team.

“We like to have members of our track team compete in at least one [cross country] event a year,” head coach Alonzo Webb said. “It helps in their training and preparation for the upcoming season.”

The event featured 24 schools and more than 260 runners total.

Freshman Kelsey Coates led the team in the 5K event with a time of 22:36.93. She set the pace for the team, which finished 20th overall.

Next in line for the Panthers was Amanda Kuhl who finished in 23:37.41. The remaining top-five slots for the Panthers were filled by Arielle Fonrose, Jordan Lee and Elizabeth Kline.

Sophomore Jonnique Lawrence, a sprinter and hurdler for the track team, finished with a time of 28:37.67.

“I was pleased with our team’s performance,” Lawrence said. “We pulled each other through when people wanted to give up and we still had fun.”

“We usually do a mile in warm-ups for conditioning so we’re prepared,” she said. “It’s important to build up our endurance. I want to be able to finish my whole race, so it helps me out a lot.”

The cross country team will continue its season as it competes in the Penn State Nationals in State College on the Blue & White Golf Course on Friday, Oct. 15.

The men’s and women’s track teams do not officially kick off their seasons until December. The Blue and Gold scrimmage will take place on Dec. 3, and they will then participate in the Golden Flash Gala in Kent, Ohio, starting on Dec. 10.

“I think this season is going to be a lot better. We’re a better team, and we’re all closer this year than last year,” Lawrence said. “We all kind of hang out with each other. We’re headed in the right direction this year.”