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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Pitt Cross Country stumbles, but shows improvement at ACC Championship

Freshman+Camy+Kiser%2C+senior+Reagan+Flannery+and+redshirt+sophomore+Ellen+Baker+run+during+the+ACC+Championships+in+Tallahassee%2C+FL%2C+on+Oct.+27.
Image via Pitt Athletics
Freshman Camy Kiser, senior Reagan Flannery and redshirt sophomore Ellen Baker run during the ACC Championships in Tallahassee, FL, on Oct. 27.

At the ACC Championship on Friday, Pitt cross country did not meet personal expectations. After a strong start to the season, the Panthers wanted to maintain momentum heading into the championship meet. But unfortunately for the Panthers, that momentum did not carry them as far as hoped. While both teams did finish at their highest placement in over five years, there is still more work to do. 

The men took ninth place, while the women came in at 12th, each out of 15 teams. Senior Luke Henseler led the charge for the men’s team, running a 23:56 8k. Meanwhile, senior Sadie Carey-Tharp led the women, running a 20:20 6k and placing inside the top 20 overall. 

Carey-Tharp set a personal best for the 6k, making her one of multiple Pitt runners to set personal bests at the race. This includes junior Peyton Geehrer, who finished second among Pitt men with a time of 24:14, and junior Quintin Gatons, who notched a time of 24:20. Among the women, sophomores Ellen Baker and Anna Cohen both set personal bests with times of 21:55 and 22:35, respectively. 

Overall, each team had six runners finish inside the top 100, with a combined three inside the top 50. The men finished with 277 points, and the women with 330. Both of these are improvements from last year’s totals of 292 and 368, respectively. 

The last time both teams finished in the top ten at the ACC Championship was in 2016, with the men fishing ninth and the women finishing seventh. While some runners certainly struggled last Friday, the team showed great promise and resiliency through adversity. The teams showed they can both return to the top 10 sooner rather than later.

So where do the Panthers go from here? After earning their best finish in seven years, the men’s team is looking to make a strong push in 2024. With a majority of their top runners returning next season, the men have a real shot at shocking the ACC and bringing attention to Pitt. With returning juniors and sophomores running to their potential, the team is very dangerous, as the Panthers are only losing one runner in their top five. 

The women’s team has a couple more questions to answer but ultimately have a bright future ahead of them. They are losing some of their top runners and leaders next season but are blessed with a slew of young talent — including first-years Camy Kiser and Olivia Bufalini. The team is looking to grow and develop and eventually reap the rewards of their hard work. Outside of their top three runners, the women’s team is populated with first-years and sophomores who are hungry to step up and lead the team for the next two to three years. 

Pitt has high standards set for itself. The Panthers know their abilities and have a strong desire to meet and exceed the expectations that come along with them. The Panthers will get another opportunity to showcase their talents on Nov. 10, this time on an even larger stage — the NCAA mid-Atlantic regionals. The race takes place at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Last year, the men finished fifth, and the women finished tenth, each out of 26 teams. 

Until then, the teams have an opportunity to rest and recover and evaluate their performances on Friday. Moving forward as a group, they will surely look to support each other and improve as a unit. 

About the Contributor
Eli Smith, Staff Writer