BETHLEHEM, PA – The University at Buffalo men's and women's cross country teams faced their largest opposition on Friday at Lehigh University's Paul Short Invitational. More than 100 colleges and universities competed in three divisions and an open race.
The UB women placed fifth among 39 squads in the Brown Division race. UB scored 292 total points, just 10 points behind third-place Dickinson College and five behind Rutgers, who took fourth place. The Bulls finished five points ahead of sixth-place Binghamton. Kutztown was the top women's team with 111 points.
Individually, the UB women were led by sophomore Ellen Muster . Muster finished the 6K course in 22:37 to place 36th among 337 runners. Muster cut forty seconds from her time at last year's meet when finished in 23:18 in the open division. Three freshmen finished behind Muster. Katie Sanders (Rochester, NY/Spencerport) was 45th in 22:49, Sam Beim (Merrick, NY/Mepham) was 51st in 22:56 and Leah Wightman (Chatham, NY/Chatham) was 71st in 23:15. Edinboro's Tina Yi won the women's race in 21:05.
The UB men raced in the Gold Division against stronger opposition, placing 34th in a 42-team field with 819 points. Indiana (44), ranked sixth in the Great Lakes region, Iona (55), the top-ranked school in the Northeast region and North Carolina State (87), ranked third in the Southeast region in the latest USTFCCCA rankings were the top three scoring teams at the meet.
Leading the UB men, in his first competition with the Bulls, was Dennis Pollow (Ransomville, NY/Wilson). Pollow, who had raced at Penn State for four seasons before coming to UB, finished 70th among 386 racers in 24:44 along the 8K course. Ryan Bloomwas UB's next finisher in 25:23 for 169th place with Chris Allen finishing in 25:28 to place in 188th place. North Carolina State sophomore Ryan Hill won the 8K race in 23:40.
The Paul Short meet also featured open races with UB entrants competing in both men's and women's divisions. UB's top men's finisher was John Inzina in 25:59 for 46th place among 407 runners. The women were led by Brittany Chilson, who took 62nd among 283 racers in 23:45 for 6K. UB graduate Dan Giza finished second in the men's open race in 24:54.
"Most of the men had personal bests on the course and are continuing to improve their personal performances each week," head coach Vicki Mitchell said after the races. "The women ran a competitive race in the Brown Division. We beat several schools that we are normally tight with including Binghamton, Monmouth, Colgate, and Temple."