ELON, N.C. – The Elon University cross country teams will split its squad for a pair of meets this weekend as majority of the teams will race at the High Point VertKlasse XC Invitational on Friday, Oct. 14, with select members competing at the NCAA Pre-Nationals the following day, Oct. 15.
The men’s 8K race kicks off the High Point VertKlasse XC Invitational at 4:30 p.m. followed by the women’s 6K at 5:15 p.m. At the Pre-National meet, the Phoenix is scheduled to begin competition in the women’s 6K blue race at 11 a.m. followed with a pair of the Phoenix men in the men’s 8K white race at 12:50 p.m.
Updates of the meets will be posted on Twitter at the programs’ handle, @EU_XCTF. Other updates will also be provided at the handle, @elonscores.
About the Field
High Point VertKlasse XC Invitational: Elon will be one of 13 teams racing at the meet including six in-state foes in Appalachian State, Campbell, Duke, UNCW, Western Carolina and host High Point. The Phoenix will send 14 athletes with the meet with nine guys and five women racing for the maroon and gold.
Pre-Nationals: One of the prestigious and toughest meets during the regular season, the Pre-National will feature some of the top teams in the nation. Seven members of the Phoenix women will race at the meet this Saturday while two guys (Nick Ciolkowski and Richie Kasper) will represent Elon in the men’s race. The women’s blue race will feature nationally ranked teams such as Stanford (No. 7), Oregon (No. 9), Arkansas (No. 12), Michigan (No. 13) and Virginia (No. 22). That race will also feature Colonial Athletic Association foe James Madison.
Greater Louisville Recap
A new school-record for senior Kimberly Johansen and a top-15 finish for Ciolkowski highlighted the Phoenix’s performance at its recent meet, the Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 1. The Phoenix women finished 10th overall out of 36 teams at the meet while the maroon and gold men were 29th overall.
Johansen was the top female harrier for Elon as she finished in the top-25 out of 368 runners with a school-record time of 17:23.40 in the 5K run. Coralea Geraniotis was next to follow for the Phoenix with a time of 17:51.00 with Brigid Brennan next with a 17:53.80. Shelby Cuddeback came in with a time of 18:06.70 while Carolyn Hopkins concluded the Phoenix’s top-five scores with her time of 18:15.30.
Ciolkowski clocked a 24:16.01 in the men’s 8K gold race setting a new personal-best for the Fairport, N.Y., native as he was 12th overall out of 312 competitors. Kasper was the next male runner to follow for the Phoenix with his season-best time of 26:00.49 while Justin Leopold followed with a 26:15.58, also a new personal-best. Michael Germinario clocked a 26:26.52 for the Phoenix to round out the top four spots for Elon.
Both Johansen and Ciolkowski were selected as the CAA Women’s and Men’s Runners of the Week, respectively, for their performances on Oct. 4. It was the second weekly honor of the season for Ciolkowski and the first in the career for Johansen.
Elon travels to Delaware for the CAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 29. The meet begins with men’s 8K at 10 a.m. followed by the women’s 6K at 11 a.m. at the White Clay Creek State Park.