It took a while, but Alex Izewski showed again on Saturday why he was a prized transfer pickup for Temple last winter.
A redshirt-sophomore, Izewski stepped up in the absence of the men’s team’s usual top runner Will Kellar and paced the Owls with a 26 minute, 19.6 second 8K time at the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of Amateur Athletes Championship meet at Van Cordlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y.
“The first 2K was flat and then it went back in the woods and that’s where the hills were,” Izewski said. “Then we came back out in the flat area and did the next loop by the cemetery and there’s a big hill there. It was pretty tough and hilly in spots, but a lot the up-hills were complimented by down-hills so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”
Kellar said he sat out the race in order to rest up for the indoor season, which begins next month.
Izewski suffered through a season of back injuries and rough outings before Saturday’s result, which was his best of the season. His 11th-place finish led the Owls to a 14th overall finish out of the 20-team field in their final meet of the season.
“I definitely haven’t had the best season,” Izewski said. “The back was still a little tight yesterday, but I just went out there and helped the team the best I could. I felt better than I did at the conference meet and it was a better race for me … I think it was a positive way to end the season going into track.”
Sophomores Ryan DeBarberie, Will Maltin and Owen Glatts chipped in with respective marks of 27:06.8, 27:11 and 27:22.8 to pick up key spots en route to the 14th-place result.
While it was a trying season for the men’s side at times, Izewski said the young squad can benefit moving forward from what he called a learning season.
“I think it was a learning season for us,” Izewski said. “We had a new coach in [distance coach James Snyder], new training and we were learning how to run together. We started out kind of rough and I think in the last two meets we started to come together and use each other and get through the races. I think we learned a lot this season and I think we can translate that into more success next season.”
The Owls will have the rest of the week off before kicking off practice for the indoor season, which officially begins Dec. 7 with the Jack Pryah Invitational at nearby Haverford College.
The women’s team placed 12th overall out of 17 schools in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship meet at Van Cortlandt Park Saturday.
Junior Jenna Dubrow placed sixth with a 5K time of 18 minutes, 33.8 seconds, while senior Anna Pavone finished ninth overall at 18:38.9 in her last collegiate cross country race to help lead Temple.
Freshman Megan Schneider and junior Andrea Mathis crossed as Temple’s next two runners with times of 21:09 and 21:22, respectively.
Pittsburgh, coached by former Temple distance coach Adam Bray (2012), took the overall ECAC title while Sacred Heart senior Brianna Castrogivanni took the individual title with a top finish of 17:58.8.
The meet was Temple last of the year as they head into a week-long break this week before preparing for the indoor season, which begins Dec. 7 at Haverford College.