Women’s Cross Country Finishes Final Stretch

by Jackson Lydon

3 mins read

The Drew University women’s cross country team completed their 2021 season on Saturday, Nov. 27, at the NCAA Division III Metro Region Championships in Glassboro, NJ. 

Four Rangers competitors clocked their personal-record race times at the championship, including top finisher Carly Orent (’23), who placed 82nd in the field of 169 and finished the 6,000-meter course in 25:19, a collegiate-best time by 53 seconds. 

Virginia Gaylord (’23) was the next Ranger to cross the finish line. She took 88th place, with a time of  25:26, which was 51 seconds faster than her previous best. She was closely followed by teammate Aubrey Johnson (‘23), who took 91st and finished her race with a time of 25:41. 

Earlier in the season, Johnson led the Rangers at the Lebanon Valley Dutchmen Invitational on October 22th, placing 33rd among 161 runners. She also achieved a personal milestone, breaking 21 minutes for 5,000 meters for the first time in her career with a time of 20 minutes, 50 seconds. For the second time this season, Johnson was named the Landmark Conference Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week. 

Johnson also led the Rangers to a third-place finish among ten teams at the Lebanon Valley College (LVC) Last Chance Run Fast Invitational. At the race she placed eighth among 74 runners, running the 6,000-meter course in 25:32. Her time was two seconds shy of her collegiate best. 

Samantha Villanueva (’23) and Charlotte Principal (’23) rounded out the score at the NCAA Division III Metro Region Championships. Villanueva ran 27:36 with a finish in 128th, a PR by 48 seconds. Close behind, Principal took 137th with a time of  28:46. At the championship, Tabitha Lopes (’23) also competed and ran a time of 29:37, finishing in 141 out of 169. 

At the LVC Last Chance Run Fast Invitational race on October 22th, the Rangers had three runners finish among the top-11. With a team score of 84, the Rangers placed behind only King’s College (63) and Division I Mount St. Mary’s (41). Johnson placed eighth among 74 runners in the field and traversed the 6,000-meter course in 25 minutes, 32 seconds. Gaylord and  Orent were close behind—Gaylord came in 10th in a collegiate-best 25:55, while Orent took 11th in 26:12, the fastest time of her career. Rounding out the team were Villanueva (32nd, 28:24) and Principal (39th, 28:44). Tabitha Lopes (45th, 29:39), Marissa Berrios (’22; 53rd, 31:00), and Marina Murillo (’23; 58th, 31:38) also competed. Villanueva, Principal, Lopes and Berrios all posted collegiate-best times. 

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU on Pexels.com

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