BETHLEHEM, PA – Racing in one of the largest cross country meets on the East Coast, the University at Buffalo men's and women's teams competed at the Paul Short Invitational, hosted by Lehigh University, on Friday afternoon.
The UB women, racing in the Brown Division, finished ninth among 44 teams with a total score of 351 points. Iona won the team title with 125 points.
Leading the UB women on the 6K course was junior Sam Beim. Beim finished the course in 23:05 to place 37th overall among 385 runners. All of UB's runners finished in the top half of field. Joining Beim in the top 60 finishers were sophomore Katie Sanders in 23:11 for 44th place and junior Jackie Cavalluzzo in 23:21 for 58th place.
Rounding out UB's finishers in the women's race were sophomore Becky Martin in 105th place in 23:59, junior Caitlin Curry in 107th place in 24:01, junior Kelsey Fitzgerald in 126th place in 24:08 and freshman Christina Clarkin in 175th place in 21:40.
Vanessa Wright of Rowan won the women's race in 21:40.
"In the women's race, 45 teams lined up with nearly 450 runners. Sam Beim had one of her best performances with her top 40 individual finish," said UB head coach Vicki Mitchell. "We had hoped to place five women in the top 50 but we ended just shy of that goal. There was good teamwork and it was a step forward for many of the women."
The UB men were placed in the Gold Division, the highest of the Paul Short's three divisions, and faced the some of the toughest teams in the country. The Bulls finished 23rd of 45 teams with 606 total points as the University of Oklahoma, ranked fourth nationally by the USTFCCCA, easily won the men's title with 34 points.
Senior Dylan Conway was the top men's finisher for the Bulls. Conway finished 96th among 402 runners in 25:31 for the 8K distance. Also crossing the finish line for the Bulls were freshman Alex Saavedra in 122nd place in 25:39, senior John Inzina in 135th place in 25:43, sophomore Andris Goncarovs in 145th place in 25:46, sophomore Zach Ahart in 151st place in 25:48, sophomore Mike Pressler in 224th place in 26:18 and redshirt freshman Brandon Cowles in 278th place in 26:43.
North Carolina-Greensboro's Paul Chelimo won the men's individual title in 23:55.
The Bulls also sent several first-year runners into the men's and women's open races. In the women's open race, freshman Leah Rice finished 144th in 25:04 and graduate student Amber Cioffi placed 158th in 25:15 as 341 racers competed in the 6K meet. In the men's 8K, with 452 entrants, freshman Tyler Murtha was 66th in 26:57, freshman Bobby Swick was 76th in 27:06, freshman Geoff Kelly was 268th in 28:56 and freshman Neil Cohen was 375th in 30:39.
"The men race a very strong race led by Dylan Conway," said Mitchell. "They worked through the race with good teamwork and beat regionally ranked teams. We feel very good about how they competed and where we are at with our first competitive race."
The Bulls return to the Keystone State for their next action when they race at the Penn State National Meet on October 15.