Photo courtesy of goxavier.com | Sophomore runner Anna Kostarellis set a Xavier track and field program record in the 3000-meter run with a time of 9:33.43. She broke the record previously held by Sarah Mazzei, who set the record during a 2016 run.
A record-breaking performance in the 3000-meter run by sophomore Anna Kostarellis highlighted men’s and women’s track and field competition last weekend.
The teams traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to compete at the Music City Challenge, hosted by Vanderbilt University at the Multipurpose Facility. This was the team’s final regular season meet of the indoor season before the Big East Championships.
Kostarellis’ outstanding performance broke the program record by about seven seconds with a time of 9:33.43.
“Anna’s training has been going really well lately, so we knew a breakthrough was coming soon, and tonight was her night,” head coach Ryan Orner told goxavier.com. “Not only did she drop 20 seconds off her already fast personal best, but she took fifth place in a stacked field. The race went out fast through the 1600 with Anna nearly in last place with a 5:02 split. Anna remained composed and moved her way up through the pack during the second half of the race.”
Orner added that he took notice of Kostarellis’ training, which has now benefitted not only her own cause, but the team’s as well.
The record was previously owned by Sarah Mazzei, who ran a 9:40.03 in the same race during a meet in 2016. Kostarellis joined elite company with her time. Mazzei was a Big East All-Conference cross country runner while competing for Xavier.
Kostarellis was not the only Musketeer to thrive in the team’s penultimate event of the winter season. Five Musketeers set personal records, and 10 runners had season-best performances last weekend. Both sides faced challenging opponents this weekend in competing against SEC schools.
The Xavier coaches were happy with their athletes and team’s performances this weekend and believe it will prepare them for the Big East Championships.
“The group that went down really stepped up to the challenge of SEC competition, and we walked out of the building a group of proud coaches,” Orner said.
Xavier set out to challenge itself before the Big East Championships in order to get athletes in the best physical shape heading into conference weekend.
Overall, the Musketeers accomplished the task at hand, which according to Orner was “running fast times before the Big East Championships.”
The teams have a respite from competition and will turn their attention to the final meet of the winter season. The Musketeers will close out the indoor season with a meet at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, from Feb. 22-23.
By: Tim Kramer | Staff Writer