Apr 24, 2014, 2:18 PM EDT
Last Friday night, April 18 in Walnut, California, a pair of William & Mary standout women’s runners — sophomore Emily Stites and senior Elaina Balouris — continued to represent the Tribe well, this time running in the coveted Mt. SAC Relays.
Each runner has already accomplished All-America honors of some sorts (both cross country and track and field) and the two seem to make each other that much better when racing together.
That was pretty evident Friday night in the Golden State.
Balouris, the senior, didn’t disappoint at all, placing fourth in the 10,000m after leading for much of the early portion. Her time of 33:31.59 was 12 seconds faster than her previous best for the event, currently good enough for No. 14 across all collegiate runners in the 10,000.
Stites, on the other hand, stole the headlines thanks to a historic performance.
She nearly pulled off the outright victory, losing the lead in the final hundred meters before clocking a new program record time of 32:41.55 in second place. It bested the former Tribe record in the 10,000 by more than one minute and currently ranks third in collegiate track and field. Oh, and it’s also the fastest current time by an American women thus far this year and ranks as 24th in the WORLD according to the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Stites, a native of Wyoming, Ohio, is now the William & Mary record holder in the 10,000 and 5,000 and qualifies for the summer’s United States Track and Field National Championships, where she will likely meet and compete with Balouris. Ironically, the USATF Championships will be held in California (Sacramento) from June 26-29 this summer.
I think it’s safe to say both Stites and Balouris expect the same.
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