Erica Jackson

Erica Jackson paces herself through the JMU Invitational earlier this season.

JMU cross country finished ninth out of 18 teams on Saturday at the ECAC Championship with 226 points. Two runners, senior Erica Jackson and sophomore Averi Witt, earned All-ECAC honors for finishing inside the top 40 of 153 runners.

Jackson set a new personal best in the 5K, finishing with a time of 17:45. She set her former personal best last year in the ECAC Championship as well with a time of 18:40.1. She reduced her time by almost an entire minute despite hurting her foot on a log while running the course.

“She probably should have dropped out but she’s just so tough,” head coach Dave Rinker told JMU Athletics. “With the exception on that, we probably had our best meet of the season. They put themselves in good position early and then did a good job of focusing and passing people. It was a good way to end the season.”

In addition, Witt finished only three seconds behind her with a time of 17:48 despite this being her first time competing in a 5K for JMU. Witt placed 32nd overall when the race wrapped up.

Sophomore Madelynn Knight also finished with a personal best of 18:35 after setting it at the ECAC Championship last year with a 19:41.4 run. Sophomores Kayla Connelly and Katie Fox and freshmen Grace Edison, Lanie Jo Knight and Sinead Sargeant competed in their very first 5Ks for JMU.

The ECAC Championship marks the end of the Dukes’ season. The runners will compete again once the indoor track season begins. The team will take part in the Father Diamond Invitational hosted by George Mason on Jan. 5.

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