The Edinboro women just dropped out of the national poll, leaving no PSAC team in the top 25 as of right now. Interestingly, all top 10 ranked teams in the Atlantic region are PSAC teams. Essentially, we will see nearly two identical races in back-to-back meets, it will be interesting to track who rises and who falls in two weeks time.
Last year’s PSAC Championships was one for the ages. Edinboro edged Shippensburg by just two points, despite both teams posting the exact same average time. Edinboro’s star freshman from last year, Stefanie Parsons, is now a star sophomore. Plus, she now has a running mate this year in senior Abbey Lang. Depth eludes them, however. Just like their men’s team, they only ran six runners at Pre-Nats. Their fifth runner was also over a 100 places behind their fourth. They barely held on to beat Lock Haven by six points, who were only 10 points ahead of Kutztown. Although I don’t expect the same battle for the win this year, the meet should make for a tight finish between 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place.
Shippensburg is the clear favorite. They have been a little inconsistent with their order, but certainly not inconsistent in their performance. A top five individual spot may be tough to grab, but it is safe to say that the Raiders will get five across the line somewhere in the top fifteen to secure the victory for the team. Expect a pack of Isabella Marchini, Maria Antoni, Kaylee Mowery, Jacqueline Kinkead, and Lindsey Gerlach to compete for top 10 spots.
California (Pa.) has got the top runner in the conference in D3 All-American and Stockton transfer Alicia Belko. She’ll look to help the Vulcans sneak up the regional rankings. They are currently ranked #6, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them higher this weekend. Belko dropped an insane 21:10 6k at Oberlin College three weeks ago, proving she could be one of the top runners in Division 2. Her teammate Alyson Pierce was over a minute behind her, but still finished 7th overall at the same meet. With a duo that strong, it will be fun to see where California will stack up with Lock Haven, Kutztown, and Edinboro.
1. Shippensburg Raiders
2. Edinboro Fighting Scots
3. Lock Haven Eagles
1. Alicia Belko (California (PA))
2. Stefanie Parsons (Edinboro)
3. Abbey Lang (Edinboro)
4. Alyson Pierce (California (PA))
5. Kenzie Jones (Mansfield)