The 14-team fields at the Atlantic Ten Conference Championships were not too friendly to the men’s and women’s cross country teams.
Both teams finished 13th in their respective 14 races Saturday at the A-10 Championships, held at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh. La Salle captured both the men’s and women’s crowns.
The men’s team received a promising performance by sophomore Adin Mickle, who completed the 8K course in a time of 26:51. The time earned Mickle 43rd place in a field of 146 runners. La Salle’s Sean Quigley won the event with a time of 24:39. Freshman Joanna Duffey led the women’s team for the fifth time this season.
The freshman completed the 5K course in a time of 20:40 to finish 99th overall in a field of 138 runners. The women’s individual title was harnessed by La Salle’s Rachel Papin. The senior used the relatively flat course to her advantage to finish with an impressive time of 17:41.
The race marked the second straight event Mickle crossed the finish line first for the Owls.
“At the beginning of the season I struggled some with my confidence,” Mickle said. “But lately I’ve been working very hard and making sacrifices in order to improve. I’ve had some success recently and it has really
got my confidence going.”
With such a sizable field of runners, Mickle said it was key to get out somewhere near the front to avoid getting boxed in.
“I got out to a very fast start, maybe even a little too fast,” Mickle said. “I probably should have controlled myself better at the start, but it ended up working out for me. In the last mile I was able to kick and my positioning allowed me to pass a bunch of people at the end.”
Freshman Dan Rinehart finished in a time of 27:10 to place 62nd and Travis Gerhardt placed 76th with a time of 27:26 to round out the top three Owls’ performances.
Senior Dave D’Addario and sophomore
Jim Waddington finished nearly side-by-side. D’Addario notched 118th place with a 28.36 while Waddington finished one place and second behind.
Duffey said she didn’t get anxious in her first appearance at the A-10 Championships.
“I really don’t get nervous being a freshman because I know how to run and I know what I have to do,” Duffey said.
“Before races I am more excited than I am nervous. My goal coming into the race was to finish in the top 100. I was able to do that so I am pleased with that.”
Shanice DePass was the next best finisher
behind Duffey for the Owls. DePass finished with a time 21:32 and placed 116th overall.Junior Noelle McKenzie, sophomore Ana Gottesfeld and junior Tasahe Croxton each finished within eight places of one another.
McKenzie crossed the line in 21.56 for 121st place, Gottesfeld notched 126th with a time of 22.12 and Croxton’s time of 22.17 earned her 128th place.
The Owls’ men’s and women’s squads return to action Nov. 11 at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional at Lock Haven.The following weekend, select members of the teams will travel to Bronx, N.Y., to participate in the Eastern College Atheletic Conference Championships.
Mike Fiscus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.