Men Finish Sixth; Women 19th at Penn State National Meet
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – The University at Buffalo men's and women's cross country teams competed Friday at the Penn State National Cross Country Meet against some of the country's top squads. The UB men placed sixth in a field of 21 while the women's team finished 19th among 29 squads. Both races were contested in driving rain with very muddy conditions.
In the men's 5.2 mile race, the Bulls were led by senior Dylan Conway. Conway finished 16th overall in 27:01. The remainder of the UB men's scorers stayed close together finishing between 42nd and 53rd place. Junior Mike Pressler was 42nd in 27:31. Sophomore Andris Goncarovs finished 44th in 27:33. Senior John Inzina took 45th place in 27:34. Sophomore Zach Ahart was 49th in 27:41. Freshmen Zachary Krause and Dylan Racha rounded out the scoring with finishes in 52nd and 53rd places, respectively in 27:44 and 27:46.
Also racing for the Bulls were freshman Alex Saavedra, junior Isaac Hagen and freshmen Bobby Swick and Brandon Cowles. Saavedra placed 82nd in 28:11 with Hagen finishing 97th in 28:29. Swick took 99th in 28:32 and Cowles finished 103rd in 28:38. A total of 189 individuals competed in the men's race. Unattached runner Ryan Blood won the individual title in 26:13 with Lehigh's Evans Kosgei finishing second in 26:18 as the top collegiate finisher.
The Bulls scored 178 points, one point behind fifth-place Montana State (177). UB, ranked 15th in the latest Northeast Regional rankings, finished ahead of MAC rivals Miami (Ohio) and Akron, who placed ninth and 10th, respectively. Penn State won the team title with 47 points.
"The men got a much better start to the race and kept moving strong throughout the 5.2 mile course," said head coach Vicki Mitchell. "Led again by Dylan Conway, the men closed with a small spread and accomplished beating MAC rivals Akron and Miami of Ohio along with Northeast competitor Marist. While we are not resting on our laurels from today, their performance today was what we wanted as we prepare for the MAC Championships and NCAA Northeast Championships. Our key is to stay healthy and focused."
For the UB women, junior Katie Sanders was the top finisher in the 6K race. Sanders turned in a time of 23:26 to place 85th among the 268 total runners. Junior Sam Beim was 117th in 23:48 and freshman Gabby Leo was 119th in 23:50. Rounding out the scoring for the UB women were senior Jackie Cavalluzzo in 24:20 for 154th place, freshman Leah Rice in 24:32 for 165th place, sophomore Becky Martin in 24:54 for 184th place and junior Kelsey Fitzgerald in 25:08 for 193rd place. Freshman Christina Clarkin finished in 203rd place in 25:14 and sophomore Hilary Swartwood finished in 213th place in 25:31 as UB's non-scoring racers.
West Virginia's Kate Harrison won the women's title in 20:50 as the Mountaineer women went on to win the team title with 45 points as UB scored 530 points for its 19th-place finish.
"The women ran a much improved race over two weeks ago and demonstrated that they are on track to having a strong performance at MACs," said Mitchell. "Beating Akron for the first time in several years was a nice accomplishment but the women know that they must continue to work hard in order to repeat that in two weeks."
The Bulls will send a limited number of racers to next Friday's Cornell Reif Invitational. UB's next major competition will be the Mid-American Conference Championships in Muncie, IN on October 29.