California (Pa.) senior Alicia Belko from Rancocas Valley wins PSAC conference title

step0001.jpgRancocas Valley graduate Alicia Belko, a senior at California University of Pennsylvania, won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference XC title Saturday, becoming only the third woman in the program’s history to win a conference title.

Belko, a transfer from Stockton University in Galloway Township, ran 23:19.1 in muddy conditions on the 6,000-meter Doug Watts course at Edinboro (Pa.) University, finishing 125 meters ahead of teammate Alyson Pierce.

Belko and Pierce led California to a third-place team finish, matching the best in program history. Shippensburg won 71-75 over Edinboro, with the Vulcans third with 111 points. California also placed third in 1980.

The only other California runners to win the conference title are Melissa Brooks in 1980 and Julie Friend in 2017.

Belko earned NCAA Division 3 All-America honors last fall after placing 27th at nationals for Stockton. She was a four-time NJAC conference champion at Stockton in the 3,000, 5,000 and steeplechase.

Belko and California will race in the NCAA Division 2 Atlantic Regional Championships on Nov. 17 at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.

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