ELON, N.C. – Junior Luis Vargas and senior Ben Perron were the first two runners to cross the finish line as they helped the Elon men’s cross country team to its second straight Elon Invitational championship on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Elon Cross country Course. The women’s squad took second at the meet, just two points shy of first.
Vargas and Perron finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s 8K race and were two of six Phoenix runners overall in the top-10. Vargas crossed the line with a time of 24:19 – just three seconds shy of tying his own school-record. Perron matched his personal-best with a time of 25:29.
On the women’s side, senior Allyson Oram was the top finisher with a time of 17:42, third overall in the 5K run. Elyse Bierut was the next of five consecutive runners to cross the finish line for the maroon and gold after clocking in at 17:56 and in fifth place.
Tereza Novotna (18:01, sixth), Kaitlin Snapp (18:02, seventh), Kimberly Johansen (18:24, eighth) and Jenny Gallagher (18:29, ninth) all joined Oram and Bierut in the top-10 with Snapp running the eighth-fastest time in school-history.
Rounding out the top-10 finishes for the men were Ari Rothschild (26:12) in sixth, Nick Schneider (26:16) in seventh, Nick Foley (26:41) in eighth and Adam Bernstein (27:02) in 10th.
The Phoenix men defeated local rival and Southern Conference foe UNCG by a score of 24-32. North Carolina A&T (81) and North Carolina Central (114) rounded out the top-four scores for the men.
Elon was edged out by UNCG in the women’s race by a slim margin of 28-29 in favor of the Spartans. North Carolina A&T (97) and North Carolina Central (98) followed both squads.
The Phoenix will have two weeks to prepare for its next meet in Charlotte, N.C., at the Charlotte Cross Country Challenge on Sept. 28. The starting gun for the women’s 5K race is at 8:30 a.m. followed by the men’s run at 9 a.m. on the course at McAlpine Creek Park.