RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- Biola's women's cross country team ran one of the fastest team times in school history and all seven scoring runners recorded personal best times on a fast course en route to an eighth-place finish at the UC Riverside Invitational on Saturday.

The Eagles, who moved up to No. 2 in the NAIA National Rankings last week, took eighth place out of 24 varsity programs in race and finished third among NAIA schools. No. 5-ranked Azusa Pacific took third overall with No. 1-ranked Cal State San Marcos finishing just ahead of the Eagles in seventh place.

Junior Katie Thede led the Eagles, placing 26th out of 217 runners with a time of 17:46. Thede dropped 23 seconds off her time from last year's race. Sophomore Nychele Fischetti dropped 15 seconds off her 2008 time, taking 30th overall with a time of 17:48.

Sophomore Carissa Bowman crossed in 61st place overall with the same time (18:10) as junior Kelsey Gasner in 62nd place. Bowman finished five seconds faster than last year and Gasner dropped 29 seconds. Junior Sarah Brooks also PR'd, finishing in 75th place in 18:21.

The biggest improvement came from junior Danielle Calhoun, who dropped 77 seconds and finished 84th overall in 18:28. Junior Erika Perez dropped over a half-minute, crossing in 78th place in 19:16.

Overall, the Eagles dropped 30 seconds off their team time from 2008, finishing with an average time of 18:03. There were just 34 seconds separating Biola's top five and the overall time makes it the fastest team in school history.

"We ran great," said Biola Head Coach Jonathan Zimmerman. "Every one of our top seven ran PR times for the course. We are improving and now have two weeks until we race next, so we get to regroup a bit."

On the men's side, Biola finished 18th overall in a stacked field which featured the best NCAA Division I schools on the west coast.

The Eagles top two runners were impressive. Senior Ryan Richert finished 75th overall with a personal best time of 25:51. Just behind him was senior Kyle McNulty, who crossed in 26:07 for 93rd place.

Rounding out the contingent was Carter Williams (21:00 - 151st), Evan Thibodeau (27:32 - 189th), Spencer Lyle (27:42 - 199th), Mike Morin  (28:30 - 244th), and Matt Arroues (29:33 - 284th).

Biola returns to action in two weeks, traveling to the Williamette Invitational in Salem, Ore., on Saturday, October 3.

Learn more about Biola Athletics.

Written by Jeff Hoffman, Sports Information Director.