LIBERTY, Mo. – Park University cross country runners netted a pair of first-place finishes Saturday (Sept. 3) at the Jewell Invitational in Liberty, Missouri, as William Henry averaged 5:30 per mile to finish the men's 6K race in 20:34, while Mary Beth Bailey won the women's 4K in 16:06.


Bailey's first-place finish in the women's race helped Park to a third-place finish, nine seconds better than Rockhurst University's Natalie Kurtenbach and the best park finish by seven spots, as Emily High was eighth for the Pirates, followed by Erin Esry in 11th and Mikayla Spears in 13th among runners finishing in the top half of the field.


"For a first meet, I thought we ran pretty well," said Park coach Brian Renshaw. "We have some new faces, so I wasn't sure what to expect when we were in a race against other teams, but we will be able to build on this toward November."


In the men's race, Henry was 12 seconds better than teammate Luke Bailey, who finished in 20:46 for second, and the Pirates claimed four of the top five positions in the race, including returner Ryan Zitter in third and Christian Skinner fourth.


Park's next cross country race is scheduled for a Friday night in Emporia, Kansas, at the Emporia State University Invitational September 23.