Cross country claims first place in second straight meet

The Temple men claimed seven of the top 10 spots and the women claimed the first five spots in their wins at the Rider Invitational on Friday in New Jersey.

The men’s cross country team ran together for most of its Temple Invitational race at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park on Sept. 1. | JAMIE COTTRELL / TTN FILE PHOTO

The Owls continued their early success at the Rider Invitational on Friday.

Both the men’s and women’s team took home first place at Rosedale Park in Pennington, New Jersey.

Sophomore Grace Moore finished first in a field of 59 in the 6,000-meter race. The Owls claimed all of the top five spots. Junior Katie Leisher finished second, followed by senior Katie Pinson and freshmen Helene Gottlieb and Lucy Jones.

For the men, graduate student Marc Steinsberger finished first and freshman Kristian Jensen came in second in the 8,000.

“Our goal today was to come in and win on both sides,” coach James Snyder said. “I was happy how a lot of our runners stepped up today. We did what we had to do.”

Seven Owls placed in the top 10. Sophomore Kevin Lapsansky and freshman Anton Harrsen finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Junior Johnathan Condly ran the race in 25 minutes, 14.72 seconds to place eighth. Sophomores Zach Seiger and Donovan Mears crossed the finish line right behind Condly.

St. Joseph’s claimed spots five through 10 on the women’s results list, but two more Owls finished in the top 20. Freshman Michelle Joyce finished 11th, and junior Ashton Dunkley finished 19th.

The Owls have won the men’s and women’s events in each of their first two meets.

“I wanted to see if we could build on success,” Snyder said. “We could’ve have done better closing on gaps later in the race, but we still have time this season.”

Snyder wants his teams to stay composed after their strong starts. Jensen and the other freshmen and Moore, a sophomore, have “been performing great,” he said.

“We’re just looking to stay focused on what is ahead,” Snyder said. “There is still a lot of training ahead of us, but it has been a nice start to the season.”

“We are feeling really good about the spot we are in,” Snyder said. “We are excited for the conference championships. We want to win trophies this year. Our goal is to finish first every time.”

The cross country teams will return to action on Sept. 29 at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.

“I think this is the best team we ever had,” Snyder said. “We have a chance to run at one of the best meets in the nation and showcase what we are all about.”

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