Elon’s Vargas and Bierut Set Records at Adidas Cross Country Challenge

CARY, N.C. – Record-breaking times by senior Luis Vargas and junior Elyse Bierut in the men’s and women’s 5K races, respectively, highlighted the Elon University cross country teams’ performance on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Adidas Cross Country Challenge on the course at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Vargas set a new course record with his time of 14:29, breaking former NC State All-American Ryan Hill’s previous record. It was the second straight first-place finish for Vargas and the third overall in his career. The Phoenix men finished second overall to defending champion and host NC State at the meet by a margin of 20-60. Elon also finished ahead of other schools such as East Carolina, local rival UNCG and new Colonial Athletic Association foe UNC Wilmington.

Bierut set a school-record in the women’s 5K race with a time of 17:25, five seconds faster than Allyson Oram’s previous school record and over 25 seconds faster than Bierut’s previous best. Bierut was one of six Phoenix runners on the women’s side to cross the line under the 18-minute mark, but Elon would also come in second to NC State in the team standings by the score of 21-36. East Carolina, UNCG and UNCW rounded out the top-five in the women’s field in the third fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

Senior Jenny Gallagher would also set a new personal-record with her time of 17:27 in fifth followed by fellow senior Tereza Novotna and her time of 17:38, also a personal-best. Gallagher’s performance is now the second-fastest time at Elon. Haylee Dawe (10th, 17:51.5), Emily Dunne (11th, 17:53.4) and Kaitlin Snapp (12th, 17:56.8) also finished under the 18-minute mark. Dunne’s mark would also be a personal-record as she breaks into the top-10 times of all-time at Elon.

On the men’s side, senior Ari Rothschild was the next Phoenix runner to cross the finish line after Vargas in 11th and his time of 15:22.5. Adam Bernstein was 16th with his time of 15:39.8 followed by freshman Sam Geha at 15:49.2 and in 19th.

The Phoenix travels to the Notre Dame Invitational for its next competition on Oct. 3.