PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's women's cross country program is set for one of the nation's premier cross country events, the 46th Annual Paul Short Run this Saturday, October 5. The women's 6k Open Race will begin at 10:15 a.m. while the 44-team field 6k Gold Race is slated for 11:45 a.m., to be held at Lehigh University's Goodman Campus. Admission is free while parking is $6 per car.

"My team loves the Lehigh course and the Paul Short Run because we typically have a lot of PRs," said fifth-year head coach Melody O'Reilly on Wednesday afternoon. "It takes the stress out of it, because they want to be there and want to see how fast they can go. I always look for us to be in the top 25 of the Gold Race, and that's a good goal for us to have this year. We have a team that can do that."

Expected to lead the pack as she has done all season will be graduate student Elaine Estes, who has won two of her three races leading up to Saturday and returns to the course where she went sub-22:00 for the first time last fall.

“This is always my favorite course to return to,” said Estes of the Goodman Campus following last year's Paul Short Run. “I’m always looking to do my best and show everybody what I have."

"I expect that Elaine will rise to the occasion as she has all season so far," added O'Reilly. "I don't know how far up that'll put her in the field as it's an incredibly large field, but I do know that she will be in the mix for the front end of that race, which is a good thing. She's confident and she's having great workouts. I'm looking forward to seeing how that unfolds."

Senior captains Emily Bracken and Meridith Twomey, classmates Morgan Camerlo, Alexa Gostovich, Samantha Mayers, and Emily Schaeffer, and junior Abigail Silva have shown scoring strength early while freshman Olivia Wojtowicz is a key rookie to watch for on Saturday afternoon.

Among the Gold Race opposition are 11 teams ranked in the Mid-Atlantic Region, including Princeton (2nd), Villanova (3rd), Georgetown (4th), Penn (6th), Pittsburgh (8th), La Salle (9th), Lehigh (10th), Maryland (11th), Delaware (12th), Navy (14th), and George Washington (15th); should the Hawks take down any of these squads, SJU could find itself ranked in the region next week.

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