Both teams competed in the Monmouth Invitational.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Holmdel, N.J., for their first meets of the season at the 16th Annual Monmouth Invitational. Both teams left a good first impression, and the men’s team in particular stole the spotlight.
The men’s team took first place in the five-mile race, with junior Travis Mahoney leading the team with an official time of 26:23.7. The women’s team, sparked by senior Rebecca Mims’ 21st place finish with a time of 20:12.4, placed fourth overall.
Several other runners also came away with impressive showings at the meet, in which they competed against Monmouth University, Rutgers and La Salle. Besides Mahoney, the men’s team also had three others place within the top 15, including senior Mike May at third, senior Eddie Pennetar at fifth, and junior Geoff Barletta at 13th. Will Kellar, a true freshman, placed 26th with a 27:29.1 finish time.
After Mims’ 20:12.4 finish, junior Karrie Finn placed 25th after clocking in at 20:18.9, and freshman Stephanie Dorantes ran a time of 20:26.7 for a 28th place finish in her first collegiate meet.
Both coach Eric Mobley and assistant coach Matt Jelley were pleased with the men’s outcome. Despite the women’s team fourth-place finish, the coaches seemed satisfied with their effort as well.
“The teams have definitely improved since last year,” Mobley said. “It was great to start off with a win. Both teams had a good showing. A lot of runners finished with personal bests.”
“It was an excellent way to start the season considering the men’s team won an invitational [the IC4A/ECAC Championships in New York] for the first time in Temple’s history last season, so we’re picking up right where we left off,” Jelley added.
Overall, the 2009 season was very kind to the men’s team. Several notable finishes included third place at the Blue and Gold Invitational, 23rd in the gold division at the Paul Short Invitational, a record-setting best with fifth place at the Atlantic Ten Championships and a top 10 finish at the NCAA Regionals.
As for the women’s side, the 2009 season was a bit of a roller coaster ride, which featured a lot of potential for the 2010 campaign. The team finished 29th in the brown division at the Paul Short Invitational, eighth at the Blue and Gold Invitational, 13th overall at the A-10 Championships and 24th at the NCAA Regionals.
“We have a real good core of talented athletes coming back,” Jelley said. “They work real hard, and it is our job to make sure they continue staying focused.”
“Keeping everybody healthy and focused will hopefully help us make a push for the [NCAA Championships],” Mobley added.
The teams return to action for their second meet at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University on Oct. 1, an all-day event.
Tyler Sablich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.