By Rhett Butler for berryvikings.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Due to inclement weather, the scheduled race in Salisbury, Maryland was canceled. Rather than take the weekend off, the Berry College Cross Country teams entered the Greater Louisville Classic.
The women started in the Blue Race against a field of great competition from colleges across all divisions. The course was a mostly grass surface, and there was a light rain.
Several NCAA Division I teams--13th ranked West Virginia University, No. 6 Iowa State, No. 8 Michigan and No. 11 Wisconsin--raced in Louisville. SAA Conference competition was also present as Rhodes (who placed 17th) was in the same race as Berry. Centre was in the Silver Race.
Junior Danielle Ferro led the way for the Vikings, placing 74th with a time of 19:06.24 in a deep field.
"It was a very competitive race, and there were a lot of girls around me that I could race, which made it really enjoyable," Ferro said. "I recognized a few competitors from our conference, and I went and raced them, and that really helped. The course was also entertaining and I really liked racing on it."
Sophomore Nina Thomason placed second for the Vikings, posting a 20:29.78 for 194th place. Senior Rachel Dorris set an 11-second season best, posting a 20:44.84 for 204th place. Freshman Ellie Sanders crossed the line fourth for the Vikings in 222nd place, posting a season-best of 20:59.13.
The Berry top five was rounded out by freshman Bethany Terpin. She crossed in a time of 21:40.88 for a 256th place finish.
Freshman Violet Keys set a season-best of 58 seconds, posting a 22:11.46 for 263rd. Ellen LaHatte was next for the Vikings, placing 264th in 22:12.49, and Alexa Bilsky set a PR in the 5K, running 22:17.54. Erin Basset posted a season best of 24:04.01, and Elise Barron ran a 24:32.37 for 297th place. The Vikings were able to take advantage of the competition and post some fast times, as 8 women out of 10 ran either season bests or personal records.
"It was a good day for us," Berry Head Cross Country Coach Paul Deaton said. "It was great to see the women get out and race well. This race was full of good competition for us to make use of."
The Vikings next race s iat home on October 17th, at the Berry Invitational in the Clara Bowl.