As always, the team focused on the San Diego Dirt Dog Cross Country series during the fall, competing in a total of eight cross country races spread out over San Diego County. The PRT women had a full scoring squad in seven of the eight races, and went undefeated for the 2014 season.
The women showed their strength early in the series at the Balboa 4-miler, where the women were led by Jenna Munguia, who finished second overall in the race. She was followed by teammates Courtney Staruch (3rd), Hilary Corno (4th), Caela Timinsky (5th), and Gina Merchant (8th). For the first time ever, the PRT women had a Masters runner competing in the Dirt Dog Series. Darcy Davidson won the Balboa 4-miler in the Women’s 40+ division, and would remain undefeated in all races that she ran for the season.
The strongest regular-season race for the PRT women came in mid-October at the Cougar Challenge. PRT had three runners under 18 minutes on the cross country course, led again by Jenna Munguia, who was first overall in 17:12. She was followed by Courtney Staruch, who set a new 5K PR of 17:21, and Hilary Corno, who ran 17:37. Also finishing for PRT was Gina Merchant (18:17), Angela Moll, who ran 18:32 only six days after competing in the Chicago Marathon, and Julie Sawyer (19:47).
The PRT women went into the championship race undefeated, and as the reigning Dirt Dog Champions. The women did not disappoint in an exciting race. Jenna Munguia showed her strength by pulling away from the lead pack early in the race and running all the way to victory. Jenna’s victory in the championship race also sealed her individual champion status in the Dirt Dog Series. She was followed by Cortney Staruch, who ran a gutsy race to hold on to second place. Marie and Hilary finished next, in 4th and 5th, respectively. Darcy Davidson was the fifth PRT woman to cross the line, and the first Masters woman, clinching her Masters individual title. She was followed by Gina Merchant (9th) , Angela Moll (10th), Caela Timinsky (12th), and Sara Sanchez (21st). Overall, the PRT women claimed seven of the top ten spots at the championship race, and seven of the top ten spots for individuals in the series, including the individual champion. As a team, PRT once again repeated as the Women’s Open Champion.
In addition to a full cross country schedule, the PRT women were busy racing on the roads and trails during the 2014 Fall season. Both Hilary Corno and Marie Schaper competed in the Long Beach Half Marathon, finishing first and second, respectively, in times of 1:19:35 and 1:20:28.
Darcy Davidson ran several trail half marathons and came away with impressive wins in both the Stairway to Heaven Trail Marathon and the Raptor Ridge Trail Half Marathon (where she placed seventh overall – including the men!).
PRT had two women PR in the marathon this fall. First, Angela Moll ran the Chicago Marathon in a speedy 2:51:31, good for a new personal record. Then in early December, Hilary Corno tackled the California International and finished with a new PR of 2:47:11. Both ladies significantly reduced their prior times in the marathon.
Finally, Darcy and Marie decided to wrap up 2014 with a set of PRs of their own. Both women competed in the Holiday Half Marathon in San Diego and took down the 1:20 barrier! Darcy finished in 1:18:38, followed by Marie in 1:19:43.
After a solid season of cross country and road racing, the PRT women gear up for the 2015 spring season, where they’ll focus on several team races in San Diego, as well as participate in events on the track, the trails, and the roads. Check back for more updates and PRs!