The Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Cross Country Team closed its 2023 campaign with all three runners setting personal record race times during the NJCAA Division III Cross Country Championships at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Alabama, in early November.
The Black Bears were led by Chase Brenneman, the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (WPCC) individual champion, who placed 23rd out of 126 total runners in the 8K race (4.97 miles).
Brenneman (Somerset, PA) posted a time of 28:24.50, breaking the school record previously held by Andrew Straka (28:41.01) for the lowest time at the NJCAA meet. Brenneman also recorded the highest individual finish for a Penn Highlands athlete at a national event.
“Nationals was an amazing experience that brought together the best athletes,” Brenneman said. “The competitiveness of this race really showcases the work the team has put in. Seeing the whole team achieve new personal records in our last race of the season is always a positive, while reaching my personal goal of top 30 in the nation made it an even better close to the season. I could not have achieved this without the support from my coaches and parents.”
Fellow Penn Highlands runner Christian Haberkorn placed 61st with a time of 31:06.90, while Connor Haberkorn came in 106th at 36:28.40.
Christian Haberkorn (Johnstown, PA) now holds the sixth-best time at the NJCAA meet in school history.
“I am very proud of all three runners for their performances in the meet,” Penn Highlands Head Coach Adrianne Kuhar said. “Their determination has been there all season, and they proved that hard work does pay off. It was an amazing experience for them and for the coaches. Now, it is time to get back to work for next season.”