The men’s and women’s cross-country teams, coached by second-year coach Eric Mobley, each recorded individual Top 10 performances early in the season but have since drifted off the pace.
“We are making strides, staying focused and moving forward,” Mobley said.
Despite having just one senior, Adin Mickle, and no freshmen, in three meets this year, the men’s team posted one individual second-place finish.
“It’s an advantage and a disadvantage,” Mobley said. “It gives us a solid core of upperclassmen [just juniors instead of seniors].”
In the opening meet, the Sept. 1 Haverford Duals, junior Eric Conklin finished second with a time of 15 minutes, 21:50 seconds in the three-mile race. Sophomore Ben Thomas crossed the finish line right behind him with a time of 15 minutes, 26:20 seconds.
The men did not fare as well at the Iona Meet of Champions in New Rochelle, N.Y., on Sept. 19, with junior Eddie Pennatar leading the men with a 22nd-place finish.
This past weekend the team competed in the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. Junior Mike May paced the team this time, placing 59th overall individually, though leading the team to a 23rd-place finish in the Gold Division.
Like the men’s team, the women’s team lacks upperclassmen – it has no seniors. Eight of the squad’s 16 members are freshmen.
“All we can expect is great effort, hard work and them trying to help the team the best they can,” Mobley said. He added that summer training helped the team, especially junior Rebecca Mims.
Just as the men recorded a Top-10 finish in the opening meet of the season, so too did the women. Mims finished in third place with a time of 19 minutes, 19 seconds. Freshman Katherine Frank placed fourth with a time of 19 minutes, 26.60 seconds, and sophomore Katie Finn rounded out the Top 10 at 19 minutes, 33.60 seconds.
Mims led the way in both the Iona Meet of Champions and the Paul Short Invitational. In New Rochelle, N.Y., she placed 83rd, while freshmen Rayna Cratchman and Frank finished second and third on the team at 93rd and 133rd overall.
At the Paul Short Invitational, Mims helped the team to a 29th-place finish with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds. Freshman Diedre MacFarland posted her best time of the season at 131st overall with a time of 23:50. Frank crossed the line seven seconds later.
Both teams have two more meets this fall season, the Blue and Gold Invitational on Oct. 17 in Newark, Del., and the Atlantic Ten Championships on Oct. 31 in St. Louis.
Mobley said he would like to see the men and women’s teams finish better in the A-10 Championships than they did last year, ninth and 13th, respectively.
“We need to continue to improve and just keep getting stronger,” Mobley said.
Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.