Novotna Sets Record; Lions Earn Eighth at Early Bird Classic

TAMPA, Fla. – Behind Tereza Novotna's record-setting pace, the Saint Leo women's cross country team finished eighth of 14 teams at the 2011 Early Bird Classic hosted by the University of Tampa, Friday evening from Dover Park.

The event, hosted by the University of Tampa, saw Novotna as the top Division II finisher, completing the 5K race in a time of 18:39.00. The time is 32 seconds faster than teammate Andrea Maxwell, who benchmarked a top time for the Green & Gold in 2010.

Novotna's fourth-place showing paced her ahead of six Division I runners. It is the highest individual finish by any Saint Leo women's cross country runner in program history. 

Jillian Browne also impressed for the Lions, earning a 33rd-place finish at a time of 20:26.

The freshmen pair of Amanda Leon and Holly Blackburn followed with top-70 finishes, posting times of 21:48 and 21:55.

Elyse Snyder bookended the Lions' evening as she broke the top-100 with a pace of 23:27. 

The Lions will return to the course next Friday, September 9, when they travel to Tampa, Fla. to compete in the USF Invitational at The Claw at USF Golf Course. The shotgun start is set for 6:00 p.m. For the latest news, information, and updates on the women's cross country team, visit