CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State cross country team will look to continue its early season success this weekend, as the Vikings are set for Cedarville University's Friendship Invitational. The women's 5K race is slated for a 10:15 a.m. start on Saturday, September 16 at the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course in Cedarville, Ohio.
Last Time Out…
Cleveland State had a strong showing at the Tommy Evans Invitational, battling a rain delay to post some of the best 5K times of the season. With the event being scored as dual meets between all teams, the Vikings picked up wins against Robert Morris and Youngstown State – marking the second straight week that CSU has been able to pick up a win against the Horizon League foe.
Vikings Have Strong Front Group
For just the second time over the last 10 seasons, the Vikings had six runners post sub 20-minute 5K times in the same race, as Anna Brandt (18:27), Karen Barrientos (18:31), Jessica Finley (18:36), Samantha Butterbaugh (19:15), Deanna Swinerton (19:22), and Kylie Scott (19:32) all crossed the finish line at the Tommy Evans Invitational before the 20:00 mark. The last time the Vikings were able to achieve this feat was at the Jenna Strong Fall Classic last season, with Barrientos, Butterbaugh and Finley also part of that group. This also marked the first time under head coach Joe Jaketic that three runners finished the same race with 18-minute 5K times.
Brandt Sets Freshman Record
Running in just her second collegiate race, Anna Brandt became the first Cleveland State freshman to record an 18-minute 5K, placing sixth at the Tommy Evans Invitational with a 5K time of 18:27. Brandt, who is one of just three rookies in the Horizon League to post a sub 19-minute 5K this season, knocked 38 seconds off of her previous 5K time of 19:05 that she set in the season opener. Brandt's Tommy Evans Invitational time of 18:27 marks the second fastest 5K time at Cleveland State since the 2005 season.
Finley's Continued Improvement
For the second straight week, sophomore Jessica Finley bettered her career-best 5K time, finishing 11th at the Tommy Evans Invitational with a time of 18:36. This marked the first sub 19-minute 5K race for Finley, while its also the sixth fastest 5K time at Cleveland State over the last 13 seasons. So far this season, Finley has been one of Cleveland State's top-three finishers during both 5K races.
2017 Cleveland State Cross Country Schedule
Saturday's 5K will mark the third of four 5K's for the Vikings this season, and the last 5K until the Disney Classic in early October. Cleveland State's next two races will be on 6K courses – the LHU Invitational and the All-Ohio Championship.