SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Fueled by Hannah Denton's (Burns, Tenn.) 13th place overall finish, the Belmont University women's cross country team finished 16th in a pool of 28 competitors Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Invitational on the Campus of Notre Dame University.
Denton, leading the Bruin runners for the first time on the young season, recorded a mark of 17:37.0 which is a lifetime personal best. Denton turned in one of the best performances of her career, shattering her previous personal best of 18:11.
Teammate Kortney Schardt (Lindenhurst, Ill.) finished 31st overall with a 17:50.5 finish which also stands as a personal best in her young collegiate career.
"There were some positives and negatives to the women's race today. I'm really proud of senior Hannah Denton with her massive lifetime PR of 17:37. She ran smart and moved up as the race progressed. Freshman Kortney Schardt also ran a lifetime PR and snuck under 18 for the first time ever with a 17:50," said Assistant Coach Ashley Casavant.
Sierra Lax (Columbus, Ind.) rounded out BU's top 100 finishers, placing 93rd with a time of 18:30.2.
Jessica King (Fishers, Ind.) finished with a mark of 18:43.7 while placing 112th in her first race of the 2016 campaign. Maria Brauer (Oakford, Ill.) and Molly Foster (Johnson City, Tenn.) finished with nearly identical marks at 18:59.1 and 18:59.5, respectively.
"The girls weren't afraid to get out hard today, at the one mile mark we were in third place as a team. But we fell apart there in the middle of the race when things got tough. All in all, we did get a clear glimpse of what can happen if we put it all together on the right day. Today was a still a step forward but we do have a lot of work to do," added Casavant.
Gabrielle Yatauro (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and sister Alexa Yatuaro (Huntington Beach, Calif.) both finished within the top 200 as well.
Bradley claimed the race title while fellow OVC programs Eastern Illinois and Murray State each finished within the top 10.
Belmont resumes its season on Oct. 14 and 15, when the team will split up for the Crimson Classic and Pre-Nats competition.