PHILADELPHIA – The Felician University women's cross-country team posted its best result in nearly five years when it finished third out of 16 teams at the 38th Annual Philadelphia Metropolitan Championship, hosted by the Jefferson Rams on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Plateau.
The third-place team standing was the best for Felician in a meet of more than six teams since it finished third out of 13 at the 2013 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship race. There were 10 CACC members in Saturday's field, out of which the Golden Falcons placed second.
Leading Felician's pack was freshman Shayla Morales (North Bergen, N.J./North Bergen). She traversed the 5,000-meter course in 21 minutes, five seconds, and crossed the finish line fourth out of 122 entrants. Sophomore transfer Jillian O'Brien (Bogota, N.J./Bogota) was sixth overall in 21:10.
Felician's next two scorers also came across five seconds apart. Freshman Hadeel Alshujaiah (Clifton, N.J./Clifton) ran a 22:23 and placed 29th, while Golden Falcon junior Jane Burgoyne (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock) was 32nd in 22:28.
For the second consecutive week, freshman Bri Balderas (Somerset, N.J./Franklin) captured Felician's fifth and final scoring spot. Balderas was 58th with a time of 24:23.
Felician's 123 points trailed only Jefferson (62) and Stockton University (86). The Golden Falcons, who finished 13th in the 2017 CACC Championship, were five points ahead of fourth-place Wilmington (Del.) University, which was second in last year's league meet.
Chestnut Hill College sophomore Taylor Neals was the individual champion with a time of 20:50. Erin Young of Jefferson (20:54) and Alexis Jones of Rutgers-Camden (20:59) were the only other competitors to defeat Morales.
The meet was contested on the CACC Championship course. The 2018 CACC meet will be staged at Belmont Plateau on October 28, and will also be hosted by Jefferson.
Felician is idle next weekend. It will next compete in the Goldey-Beacom College Fall Classic on September 21 in Wilmington, Del.