Duquesne women's cross country team goes the distance
College Football Videos
The Duquesne women's cross country team is on a historic run, and the Dukes aren't ready for it to end yet.
After winning the school's first Atlantic 10 title in any women's sport, Duquesne will look to extend its season when it travels to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals at 1:15 p.m. Friday at Lehigh.
“We have no intention of going there just for fun,” Dukes coach Tom Slosky said. “We have business to take care of.”
The NCAA uses a complicated scoring system to determine which schools from the nine regional meets advance to the championships, which are Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. The top two teams from the Mid-Atlantic automatically move on, but the next three also typically qualify. Duquesne is ranked sixth in what's considered one of the toughest regions in the country, so a formidable challenge awaits.
“I think we're the most confident we've ever been, for sure,” said Haley Pisarcik, a South Park graduate. “We're going to race like we know how to and hopefully see the results we saw in the A-10 championships.”
Pisarcik, who finished sixth at A-10s on Nov. 2, is one of three seniors on the team, so she has seen the program rise from a conference mediocrity into an NCAA contender. Classmate Amber Valimont, a Hempfield graduate who placed a team-best fourth at A-10s, has been there all along, too.
“Previously at Duquesne, it hasn't been as much about team,” Valimont said. “We've had some good individuals here and there trying to pull the team along, but this is the first year we did something as a team. We're obviously really proud of that, and I think it's the best way to finish out my senior year.”
Slosky, a Duquesne and Highlands graduate, is no stranger to making history.
During his senior season with the Dukes in 2007, he became the first cross country runner to win the A-10 title and also the first to qualify for the NCAA championships. In 2005, he helped the Dukes win the A-10 team title, the school's first A-10 championship in any sport since 1977. Those accolades, however, didn't compare to watching his team this season.
“I never realized how good it could feel as a coach,” he said. “As an individual, you can't really see your teammates. This year, I got to see all the girls running (at the A-10 championships). I got to thinking about all the hard work they had put into it.”
The work for this season started in June. Daily workouts include a 2 1⁄2-mile run from the campus to Schenley Park, training at the park and then a run back to Duquesne. Pisarcik, who is a middle-distance runner for the track team, said she covers up to 48 miles per week, but others run more. The result is a closely knit group that featured a top six separated by less than 40 seconds at A-10s.
“We knew from the beginning of the season it was going to be special, so we really bonded over that,” Pisarcik said. “It became a common goal.
“It's been an ideal senior year.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Renowned strength coach set to visit Kittanning
- Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
- Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
- Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- Steelers notebook: Gay respects ‘anything’ referees call
- Allegheny County district attorney prosecutors move on to state office
- John Browne: Care act isn’t affordable for Americans, economy
- Georgia prosecutor Yates tapped for No. 2 post in Justice Department