The men’s cross-country team finished fifth at the Atlantic Ten Championships. Junior Mike May placed eighth overall individually.
The men’s and women’s cross-country teams competed in the Atlantic Ten Championships at Saint Louis Oct. 31, and both came away with treats on Halloween.
On the men’s side, junior Mike May finished eighth overall and became the first male cross-country athlete at Temple to achieve that honor.
“It’s a big honor, but I’m just glad the whole team finished well,” May said.
May said he has been improving with every tournament this season, which could be thanks to a new strategy.
“I’ve realized how important it is to stay up front, and it has helped me become more aggressive,” May said.
After his Top 10 finish, May said he is looking forward to the Mid-Atlantic Regional.
“This performance gave us a lot of confidence that should really help us heading into the Mid-Atlantic Regional,” May said.
The team itself finished fifth overall, the best finish the Owls have ever had in these Championships. Temple finished ninth last year, and second-year coach Eric Mobley said the goal entering this season was to finish better than that.
“This is huge for our program,” Mobley said. “Hopefully, this will help us as a better recruiting tool.”
Three other runners on the men’s squad recorded Top 25 finishes. Junior Eddie Penetar finished 21st, sophomore Travis Mahoney 23rd and senior Adin Mickle 24th.
The men next compete at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships in Princess Ann, Md., Nov. 14.
“This tournament gives us a huge boost of confidence going in there,” Mobley said. “We now know that we have a shot, and we also have an outside shot at the NCAA Championships.”
If the men’s squad does qualify for the NCAA Championships, they will be held Nov. 23 at Indiana State University.
The women’s team finished 13th overall at the A-10 Championships, the same as last year.
“We did a great job,” second-year assistant coach Matt Jelley said. “We had a few girls banged up, but overall, our individual performances were much better than last year. The whole team improved from last year.”
Junior Rebecca Mims was once again the team’s best finisher, as she ended up in 42nd place after finishing 75th in the Championships last year.
“We did really well,” Mims said. “We had lots of improvement from last year. We just need to keep getting better and get people healthy for the Mid-Atlantic Regional.”
Freshman Dierdre MacFarlane finished right behind Mims to give the Owls two women in the Top 50 overall.
“It was really big for us to have two women in the Top 50,” Jelley said. “That will really help us down the road.”
Coach Mobley said he was pleased with the women’s performance as well.
“We are closing the gap to becoming very competitive in the A-10,” Mobley said. “I just want the women’s team to keep improving, keep working hard and just keep doing what they are doing.”
Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.