TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Duke women’s cross country team saw two Blue Devils finish in the top three in the Junior Women’s 6K at the USATF Cross Country Championships at Apalachee Regional Park on Saturday morning.
“I think the experience overall of making the team and being at a higher level stage in El Salvador will be great for these freshmen,” said head coach Rhonda Riley. “This is both of their first races for the indoor season and they haven’t raced since the end of cross country, so for them to come out and compete and make the team is exactly what we came out to do.”
Amanda Beach and Michaela Reinhart continued their strong freshmen campaigns by finishing in second and third respectively. Beach led the race through 2,176m and 4,957m and clocked a final time of 21:13.6 to take second place. Right behind her was Reinhart who finished in 21:17.5 to earn the bronze medal. It was the sixth time in seven races that Beach and Reinhart have finished within three places of each other.
“I tend to start a little faster and she’s (Beach) very good at bringing it home so it works where we push each other where we’re weak,” said Reinhart. “I’ll kind of bring her out and she brings me home. It works really well.”
With those top three finishes, Beach and Reinhart will be among the six runners who will race at the 2018 NACAC Cross Country Championships as members of the USATF team. The race will take place in San Salvador, El Salvador on Feb. 17.
“It was a lot of fun and I’m very happy that I have the opportunity to go to El Salvador,” added Beach. “It’s amazing having a teammate to run with. We both push each other and it’s really nice.”
It adds yet another honor to both Beach and Reinhart’s ledgers. Both were named All-ACC after top-20 finishes at the ACC Cross Country Championships and Reinhart was also named ACC Freshman of the Year. Just last week, the pair also were named to the All-ACC Academic team.