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Freshmen duo PR at nationals

Freshmen duo PR at nationals

In the biggest race of their running careers – the NJCAA Division II Cross Country Championship – the Cyclones ran their best on an overcast, cool day at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Alabama, with both women earning personal bests.

In their first season of college cross country, freshmen Annabel Lipkie and Mariah Karamagianis each ran their best times for a 5K at the highest level. Lipkie finished in 156th place out of 279 runners in 22:38.6 while Karamagianis crossed the line in 193rd in 23:28.2.

"Annabel hasn't been fully healthy for a few weeks, but the same determination that got her to nationals carried her to the finish line. She moved up 43 spots after the first mile and ended with a 42-second PR," said Head Coach Dimitri Dimizas. "Mariah has been constantly improving, and this was a perfect example of that. She passed 26 people after the first mile and PR'd by 1:13."

Both runners finished better compared to other NJCAA Region 4 competitors than at the region championship.

"It was cool to be around so many different people, seeing the different levels of competition and how they race," Karamagianis said.

"It was a great race, and I ran fast. I had a lot of support from my family, team and coaches, so that helped," Lipkie said. "I couldn't do it without my teammates."

"I don't typically run with my athletes, but I was fortunate to run with the women on the course on Friday. After seeing how they handled it, I knew that PR's were coming. But I did not expect them to PR by as much as they did! Not only did they PR, but they also raced extremely well by passing people the entire time. Similar to the men's race, the women's start at nationals is always fast, so I give them a lot of credit for not falling into the trap of going out too hard and dying out," Dimizas explained. "This was a great experience for them, and I hope they can carry this momentum into the offseason and next season."