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TWO BISON EARN ALL-PAC AT CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Oct. 30 - WAYNESBURG, Pa – Bethany College senior Joanna Mongelluzzo (Washington, Pa./Trinity) and freshman Cory Yarrington (Berkeley Springs, Pa.) both earned Second Team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) honors, which highlighted the Bison’s efforts at Saturday’s PAC Cross Country Championships hosted by Waynesburg.
As a team, the BC women finished eighth out of nine teams, but missed sixth place by just six points. The men ranked ninth overall on Saturday, as they competed as a full team at Championships for the first time since 2007. The overall winner on the women’s side was Grove City, while Saint Vincent claimed its first PAC Championship by taking the men’s crown.
In her first year with the cross country program, Mongelluzzo grabbed Second Team All-PAC status by finishing in eighth place overall with a time of 24:17.66. It marks the third consecutive season Bethany has had a runner earn all-conference laurels. Mongelluzzo’s eight place showing is also the highest placement by a Bison runner since Mallory Roadman crossed in eighth place in 2005.
Others running for the Bison on Saturday included senior Desiree Finley (Nanticoke, Pa./Hanover Area), who placed 39th, freshman Chelesi White (Elkins, W.Va.), who finished 41st, junior Kaitlyn Black (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley), who crossed in 48th, and sophomore Melissa Davis (Lancaster, Ohio), who was 52nd.
On the men’s side, Yarrington became the first Bethany men’s runner in three years to bring home All-PAC distinction. His time of 27:22.11 was good for 13th place overall, the highest finish by a Bison competitor since Zach Foster took ninth at the 2007 PAC Championships to earn Second Team status as well. Yarrington is also the first BC freshman to earn all-conference since Ken Hopper ran to First Team honors in 2002.
The next Bethany runner to cross the finish line was freshman Hunter Ankrom (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall) in 36th place and he was followed by junior Joe Douglas (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) in 40th, freshman Brandon Miller (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) in 47th, freshman John Hajny (Piney Fork, Ohio/Buckeye Local) in 48th and sophomore Josh Wentz (Philippi, W.Va./Philip Barbour) in 49th.
First-year head coach Brandon Spalding was not only pleased to have two all-conference runners at the end of the day, but also at the entire program’s development leading up to and through the championship meet.
“We thought Joanna and Cory had a chance at all-conference going into the meet and they both ran great races,” said Spalding. “Joanna was in 24th place after the first mile and just started picking people off in front of her as each mile progressed. Cory ran a very consistent race and to be the first freshman here to earn All-PAC in nearly 10 years is a great start in his career.
“Overall, I was pleased how things went today,” said Spalding. “Everyone ran significantly faster today than they did the first time we ran at Waynesburg (Sept. 11) and we’ve established a good foundation moving forward.”
Both Bison teams are off next weekend and will complete their seasons on Nov. 13 by running at the NCAA Mid-East Regional, which is being hosted by Carnegie Mellon at Coopers Lake.