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Cross Country News

Rono places 11th with personal-best time to lead Pioneers at Walsh

Oct. 24, 2009

NORTH CANTON, Ohio -- Point Park University's Reuben Rono placed 9th and set a personal-best time of 27 minutes, 57 seconds Saturday to lead the Pioneers' men's cross country team at the Walsh Invitational.


Rono, a sophomore from Kapsabet, Kenya, registered his second-career top-10 placement and broke 28 minutes for the first time.

Rono's best individual placement came at the Pitt-Greensburg Invitational last year when he placed third. That meet last year also represented his previous best time of 28:16, which he beat by 19 seconds Saturday.

As a team, Point Park placed fifth of seven teams.

"I told Reuben that he could take a day off of practice tomorrow if he broke 28 minutes," said Point Park cross country coach Jim Irvin. "He ran a really nice race, and we really had a nice showing at the top with the men's team."

For the first time in school history, Point Park had three men's runners turn in times under 30 minutes.

Freshman Dylan Grunn (Honesdale/Abington Heights) recorded a time of 28:54 to place 16th. Despite batting the flu, Grunn recorded his best individual placement, which was one spot better than his 17th-place showing at the Waynesburg Invitational Sept. 12.

Grunn was just off his personal best time of 28:24, which had been the best time for the Pioneers this year before Rono's 27:57 Saturday. 

Andrew Witchey (Lower Burrell/St. Joseph's) joined Rono in setting a career-best time by finishing the 8K race in 29:50.

Other runners included Chris Kennedy (31:29), Riley Faison (36:14) and Chuck Nicholls (40:52).

"It was a good day with two runners setting a personal-best time and Dylan doing well despite the flu," said Irvin. "We have a week off before the AMC Championships, which are always tough."

The Pioneers travel to Cedarville Nov. 7 for the AMC Championship Meet.