Sports

The home stretch

Written by Drew Rhoades

Men’s and women’s cross country teams excel 

The Saint Joseph’s University men’s and women’s cross country teams both came in first overall at the George Mason Invitational in Leesburg, Va. on Sept. 30. The men finished with a score of 34 points, while the women finished with 44 points.

For the men, graduate student Dan Savage led the way with a third place finish in a field of 87 runners at 25:33.6. Sophomore Zach Michon finished sixth, with seniors David Dorsey and Collin Crilly following behind, placing seventh and eighth, respectively. Sophomore Josh Clark finished the men’s scoring with an 11th place finish at 26:09.6.

Men’s head coach Mike Glavin was pleased with the performance from the top five runners.

“They [the top 5 runners] did exactly what we talked about doing, so we’re pretty happy with that,” Glavin said. “They ran the course and put themselves in the race within the first 2000 meters, which is always important.”

Glavin was also proud of his team for pushing through the difficult sections of the course.

“There’s a middle section of about 4000 meters that runners are gonna run it and suffer through it or they’re gonna pay for it,” Glavin explained. “Our guys were able to push through it and no one was able to knock them off of their game.”

Savage thought there was a lot of improvement in the team’s performance from last week.

“Compared to Rider [Rider Invitational], I thought we were able to much better stay in the pack, which allowed us to do well in the race,” Savage said.

Junior Lindsey Oremus once again led the women with a time of 22:36.9 and a third place finish, while junior Lucy Harmon followed right behind with a fourth place finish at 22.41.4. Rounding out the scoring were senior Cassidy Weimer in eighth, sophomore Emily Bracken in ninth, and junior Elaine Estes in 16th.

Harmon was pleased with the overall performance of her team.

“I thought overall the team did so well; I was so proud of everyone that performed,” Harmon said. “Everyone’s just been having a great season, and we’re making some awesome progress. I can see it in practice and it’s starting to come together in meets.”

Some runners from the men’s and women’s squads also competed in the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa. on Sept. 29. The men finished fifth in a field of 18 teams with 144 points, while the women finished 13th out of 16 teams with 341 points.

Sophomore Rose Barrett led the women with a personal best time of 24:01, good for a 63rd place finish in a field of 129. Following behind was freshman Kayla Martin who also set a personal record [PR] with a time of 24:16, finishing in 67th place.

For the men, junior Tommy Higley finished ninth overall with a time of 25:14, setting a new 8k PR. Freshman Matthew Scarpill finished 17th overall in his first collegiate 8k at 25:29.

“He [Higley] just ran a fantastic race,” Glavin said. “And the freshman Matt Scarpill was a little under the weather. He’s got a bit of a chest cold. I just thought those two races in particular were good ones.”

The season is entering the final stretch, with the men and women competing in one more meet before running in the Atlantic 10 Championship, which will be back at George Mason University. This means everyone has their eyes set on the gold.

“Dayton, who won it [the A-10 championship] last year and only lost one guy are the heavy favorites,” Glavin said.

In terms of confidence, Glavin thinks this race lets the runners know where their potential lies.

“I think this lets the guys know that we’re more in contention for a one, two, three spot if we race well,” Glavin said. “Two of the teams [Duquesne and George Mason] were ranked in front of us [in the men’s preseason poll].”

Competing at the A-10 Championship course this past week will help the team rise above their competitors.

“I think being able to go out to that course and see it really is gonna help us plan out these next few weeks,” Savage said. “We were able to tell that the course is pretty hilly, so I’m sure Coach Glavin is going to prepare us for that.”

Harman felt similarly to Savage hoping  that learning the course before the meet will help the team tremendously.

“It gave myself a good amount of confidence knowing the course, where to make moves and at what time,” Harman said. “I think it gave the team a good overall boost of confidence knowing where we’re gonna be.”

As for continuing their success down the stretch, Harmon felt that keeping consistency will be key.

“I think if we just keep doing what we do during workouts and practice, and if we just stay together and work hard and keep encouraging each other down the road, we’ll be so ready for the conference championship,” Harman said.

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Drew Rhoades

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