LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Park University cross country teams each earned bronze finishes Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas at the Haskell Indian Nations Invitational, led by Mary Beth Bailey with a seventh-place finish in the women's 5K, and Christian Skinner in the men's 8K, finishing sixth, his best collegiate finish in his freshman season.

 

Bailey's 5K time of 19:52 averaged 6:23 per mile and was the fourth-best NAIA time in the race, behind three runners from Benedictine College, including individual champion Lauren Benzing, who finished in 18:31. The Ravens won the event, 39 points better than second-place Johnson County, with five of the top 10 runners in the race.

 

Park's next-best women's finisher was Erin Esry in 20th (20:58), followed closely by freshman Emily High, who ran 21:20 to score 21st.

 

Skinner's 8K time of 27:21 averaged 5:30 per mile and was nearly 20 seconds better than senior Luke Bailey, who finished 10th. Park also had back-to-back finishes by Ryan Zitter and William Henry, who went 27:55 and 27:59, in the 15th and 16th scoring places.

 

"The competition here was really good in both races, and this really helps get us ready for the conference meet coming up," said Park coach Brian Renshaw. "We still have work to do, but I'm happy with the way we finished, to come up third in a field like this."

 

The Pirates have one more regular-season race before the Nov. 5 conference meet in St. Louis, traveling to the Southwestern Invitational Oct. 22 in Winfield, Kansas.