BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Last year, Elaine Estes stepped onto her all-time favorite course, at Lehigh University's Goodman Campus, and had one individual goal: to go sub-22:00 for the first time in her career. She did that, clocking in at 21:59.5. Fast forward a year, and Estes completed Saturday morning's 6k Gold Race in a time of 21:14.4, numbers that speak to her commitment to improving every time race day comes.
Estes used a 5:41.7 mile average to record her new PR en route to a 96th-place finish in a field of 351.
"I'm feeling pretty good," beamed Estes following her PR. "This course is special to me. It was my favorite course in high school. I'm always looking forward to the chance to come back here. With the way this year has been going, I was looking forward to it even more. Our first few races made me look really good, but I knew that this one was going to be more competition. Since I've been training by myself while doing my student-teaching, this was really the first time since the summer that I was running with people. I learned from this, like what the fronts of races look like to me now. I'm looking forward to racing here again and breaking another barrier."
The Hawks will return to the course on November 15 for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship.
As a squad, Saint Joseph's placed 36th in a field of 41. Seniors Morgan Camerlo (187th, 21:55.2 PR), Emily Schaeffer (253rd, 22:24.9 PR), Emily Bracken (259th, 22:29.3 PR), and Samantha Mayers (265th, 22:34.5 PR) rounded out the scoring unit, all with impressive collegiate-best 6k performances, while junior Abigail Silva (280th, 22:48.0 PR) and senior Meridith Twomey (287th, 22:52.4) finished as SJU's #6 and #7 runners.
In the 6k Open Race, junior Alexa Gostovich led the way with a collegiate-best time of 23:03.9, good for 83rd in the non-scored field of 421 racers. The time is an improvement upon her previous 6k PR (24:23.5) by over a minute.
"I really wanted to take advantage of the fast course today," said Gostovich following her race. "I knew I had to start quicker than normal just because of the amount of people in the race. I decided not to ever settle in the race, because then I would have gone slower. Overall, I felt really good and it was good for me because last week, I didn't feel so great, so this week, I really wanted to go out there and crush it."
Also of note, recent alum Lindsey Oremus '19 placed fifth overall in the Open Race, crossing in 21:01.2 as an unattached runner.
The Hawks will take next weekend off from outside competition but will return to action the following weekend, splitting up to race the Penn State National Invitational in State College, Pa. on Friday, October 18 and the Lafayette Leopard Invitational in Easton, Pa. on Saturday, October 19.