Lady Bobcats Win MEC Cross Country Championship

Lady Bobcats Win MEC Cross Country Championship

BRIDGEPORT -- West Virginia Wesleyan's women returned to the top of the Mountain East Conference Saturday, racing to the cross country title at the MEC Championships on Saturday at the Bridgeport Recreational Complex.

It was the team's fourth title in the five years of the Mountain East Conference.

Wesleyan won the event with a team score of 35, outdistancing runner-up Wheeling Jesuit who posted a score of 48.

Concord placed third in the nine-team event with 68 points.

Senior Sydney Pineault (pictured) led the way placing third in the 6000-meter race in 24:08.

The Morgantown, W. Va. native became the sixth Lady Bobcat in the history of the women's program to earn First Team All-Conference all four years. 

The top 10 earn first team All-MEC honors, while athletes finishing 11th-20th are second team all-conference honorees.

Pineault was joined on the First-Team by four other teammates.

Freshman Madison Frame placed sixth (24:30), junior Joie Johnston seventh (24:42), sophomore Lexi Beach ninth (25:14) and freshman Michaela Peterson tenth (25:21). 

Wesleyan's sixth and seventh performers were also pivotal in the victorious team run. Senior Zoey Vilasuso placed 15th with a time of 25:43 while sophomore Rachael Englund was right behind in 16th (25:52). Both were ahead of Wheeling's number five runner, helping put the final touch on the spirited win.

"I am so proud of the way the girls responded to the pressure that Wheeling Jesuit put on us," head coach Jesse Skiles said. "I want to give Coach Moore and his team credit, they came out and really went after it, and led most of the way. At one mile we had them up seven, and still had them up three points at mile two...that last trip through the hills in the back field, we were able to make some significant moves and get ourselves in a better position for the win. It was a very gutsy performance by all of our kids today."

Wheeling Jesuit went 1-2 in the race as Kelsey Chambers won her third-straight MEC Championship title and was also named the league's Runner of the Year for the third-consecutive season. She finished the race with a time of 23:09. Teammate Kaitlyn Workman was second with a time of 23:29

Freshman of the Year honors went to Concord's Sydney Haynes who finished fifth.

Skiles was named the MEC Coach of the Year.

While it was the fourth title in five years for the Wesleyan women in the MEC, it was the program's 18th conference title in the last 23 years overall.

The Lady Bobcats will be back in action Nov. 5 in the Atlantic Region Championships at Lock Haven, Pa.