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Bethany Cross Country PAC Championships Preview

Oct. 31 – BETHANY, W.Va. – For the second time in three years, the Bethany College cross country programs will host the Presidents’ Athletic Conference 2014 Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 1.

The league championship will be the 57th annual event for the men, while the women will be competing in the conference's 31st annual championship race.

Head coach Mike Guinn, who is in his fourth season at the helm of the Bison cross country program, has a team that is ready to make a statement in the PAC Championships.  

Leading the women into the meet will be seniors Jessica Olson (Moon, Pa./Moon) and Rhianna Petrone (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan), as well as sophomore Michaela Ross (Wahiawa, Hawaii/Leilehua).

Olson has had a nice final season, registering four top-60 finishes, including two in the top-20. Her best performance came at the Pitt-Greensburg/WCCC Invitational on Oct. 4, where she grabbed a fifth-place finish out of 86 runners with a time of 20:07.6.

Petrone has been equally impressive, notching two top-25 places along the way. She really showed off her talent at the Pitt-Greensburg/WCCC Invitational, as she led the Bison women with a third-place finish (19:46.7).

Ross is another Bison to keep an eye one, as she has two top-25 finishes on the season. Her best finish came at the Saint Vincent Invitational, where she finished 22nd out of 125 runners with a time of 21:32.3.

Other women to keep an eye include junior Kelsea Martz (Hedgesville, W.Va./Hedgesville), sophomore Ashley Worst (Cuba, N.Y./Apollo-Ridge) and freshman Elizabeth Timas (Middlefield, Ohio/Cardinal).

The Bison men will be led by sophomore Dylan Martinez (Wahiawa, Hawaii/Leilehua) as well as freshmen Austin Davis (Honolulu, Hawaii/Moanalua) and Donald Bierhals (Cabot, Pa./Knoch).

Martinez, who has ran the fastest time of any Bison this season (29:59.28), had his best performance at the Doug Watts Open Invitational, where he finished in 63rd with a time of 32:11.

Davis, who is coming off an ankle injury, has only participated in two meets but is coming on strong and is poised for a big performance.

Bierhals has been the most consistent perhaps, recording two top-85 finishes on the year. His best outing occurred at the Doug Watts Open Invitational, where he recorded a 60th-place finish with a time of 31:38.

Others looking to make an impact include sophomores David Camacho (Harlingen, Texas/Tuloso-Midway) and William Cazares (Harlingen, Texas/Tuloso-Midway).

The men's eight-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., followed by the women's six-kilometer race at 12 p.m. A brief awards ceremony will take place on-site at approximately 1:30 p.m.