For the first time in nearly two years, a Temple runner placed first in a meet.
Junior Matt Kacyon won the 8,000-meter race with a time of 25 minutes, 50.52 seconds. Kacyon finished ahead of 134 other runners.
“We went into the race with a plan to win it,” Snyder said. “Looking at past results and looking at Matt’s fitness right now, I thought he and [junior Alex Izewski] both had a shot. The varying terrain of the course suited our strengths and Matt took advantage of the opportunity.”
Kacyon said he was also happy with his performance.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s my first cross country win for college,” Kacyon said. “Izewski and I were up front most of the race and we did that to our advantage. I was able to catch a second wind on the last mile which was fortunate. It put me in a good position to run away from some of the front runners.”
Izewski crossed with a fourth-place mark of 26:13.43.
With the performances by the junior tandem, the Owls placed third out of 14 schools at the meet, while the women placed seventh out of 16.
Leading the women was senior Jenna Dubrow who finished her 5k with a time of 18:00.90. Dubrow’s time earned seventh place out of 148, which caught her by surprise.
“[I’m] very surprised and happy,” Dubrow said. “I actually didn’t get to train much over the summer because of a hamstring injury. I have been feeling more fit each week, so it was nice to see that kind or performance.”
The next top scorer for the women was freshman Katie Pinson. Pinson finished 33rd with a time of 19:30.68.
“I think we did really well as a team,” Dubrow said. “Coach [Snyder] harps on running as a pack and everyone pretty much did that today. I’m excited for the rest of the season. I think we are going to be a lot better than last year.”
Dubrow isn’t the only one who thinks the team has a bright future.
“Overall as a team, we are going in the right direction,” Kacyon said.
While the players were very optimistic about the future, Snyder said he feels there is still room for improvement.
“Right now I feel like Matt and Alex can run with just about anyone in the [American Athletic Conference],” Snyder said. “The pressure now falls on the shoulders of our remaining scorers to step up over the last half of the season. The two biggest things I took away on the women’s side was the strength of our four through six runners who ran in a pack and finished well, along with having Jenna up front in a break through race against a strong women’s field.”
Ed LeFurge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EdLeFurgeIII.