Balsan, Bennett each earn top-10 finishes for GCU in Arizona

September 13, 2019
Elizabeth Balsan cross-country running

Elizabeth Balsan

Anchorage’s Elizabeth Balsan and Blake Bennett each turned in top-10 performances for Grand Canyon University at the Dave Murray Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Balsan, of ACS fame, finished seventh out of 30 women by covering the 5-K race in 19:13.4.

This was the senior’s third career top-10 finish at this meet. She was sixth in 2016, eighth in 2017, 12th in 2018 and seventh in 2019.

This season is already shaping up to be the best for Balsan, who picked up her first cross country victory in the season opener Aug. 31 by winning the Cactus Open

Blake Bennett cross-country running

Blake Bennett

She covered the 2.7-mile course in 15:57.3 to beat the second-place runner by seven seconds.

Bennett, of ACS fame, overcame a slow start to finish eighth in the men’s field of 40 with a 7-K time of 23:19.2.

The sophomore was 20th after the first kilometer. Near the halfway point, he had worked his way to 11th.

This was Bennett’s eighth career top-10 finish in cross country.