Well, that didn’t take long.
In the second meet of her sophomore season, College of Charleston cross country runner Dena O’Brien shattered the school record in the five-kilometer run with a time of 17 minutes, 11.75 seconds at the Charlotte Cross Country Invitational on Friday.
That slashed more than 22 seconds off the previous school record of 17:34, set in 1991.
O’Brien had already held the school record for the six-kilometer distance, which is run at the Southern Conference championship meet, NCAA regionals and the national championship. She also holds a handful of school records from the spring indoor and outdoor track seasons. O’Brien’s previous personal best in the cross country 5K had been 17:50, set last year in Charlotte.
The time was good for a fourth-place finish in the 289-woman field, and was less than 20 seconds behind the meet-winning time of 16:53.68.
Overall, the women finished 12th out of 36 teams competing in Charlotte, and all six of Charleston’s scoring runners finished in the top 100. Sophomore McKenna Nokes finished 61st, with a time of 18:47.30, while sophomore Dannielle Hobbs finished 74th, with a time of 19:01.69.
The Cougar men finished 10th out of the 34 teams competing, led by top-50 finishes by Andrew Nelson and David Lamberson. Nelson, yet another sophomore, finished 43rd with a time over 25:47.78 over the eight-kilometer course, while Lamberson, a senior, ran a 25:57.45 to finish 48th.
The men and women have a weekend off before traveling to Boone, N.C., for the Blue Ridge Invitational on Oct. 14.