While competing in the 37th Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., on Friday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams both walked away from the meet with disappointing results.
Running in one of the nation’s leading cross country meets, the men’s team placed 34th of 42 teams in the College Men’s Gold Race. Seniors Mike May and Eddie Penetar led the men, while senior Rebecca Mims and freshman Stephanie Dorantes led the women to a 31st place finish.
Placing 62nd overall, May finished with a time of 25 minutes, one second in the 8K course, while Penetar turned in a time of 25:24.
“Mike May once again had a solid race,” assistant coach Matt Jelley said about his senior runner. “He led us as our first man.”
Junior Travis Mahoney clocked in at second behind Penetar with a time of 25:25 and fellow junior Ben Thomas crossed the finish line at 26:46. Junior Geoff Barletta at 27:05, freshman Will Kellar at 27:22 and senior Eric Conklin at 27:35 also competed in the race.
Jelley seemed disappointed in Mahoney’s and Conklin’s performances but said health may have been the culprit.
“We had a couple of guys in the middle who were coming back from a stomach bug we had going through the team,” Jelley said. “Travis Mahoney and Eric Conklin weren’t where we expected them, but Ben Thomas and Geoff Barletta had solid races for us.”
Senior Clarke Hunt was the Owls’ only participant in the Open Men’s 8K, finishing at 27:37.
“As a whole the guys team didn’t compete up to the level that we expected,” Jelley said. “We got about a month to fix that before the conference meet. Hopefully, we’ll get that turned around and get healthy and compete up to the level we expect.”
Placing 86th overall in the 6K, Mims was the women’s best runner, turning in a time of 23:31. Dorantes also finished with a commendable time of 23:49.
“The women’s team was led by Rebecca Mims and Stephanie Dorantes,” Jelley said. “Both of them had solid races for us.”
Junior Karrie Finn (24:22), freshman Sarah Rutter (24:36), sophomore Katherine Frank (24:47), senior Briana Linneman (25:02) and sophomore Deidre MacFarlane (25:06) competed in the race as well.
In the Open Women’s 6K race, senior Tashima Stephens had the Owls’ quickest time, finishing with at an impressive 25:45. Running one second behind Stephens, freshman Taylor Goldsworthy finished at a notable 25:46, and sophomore Tonney Smith clocked in at 25:49. Junior Amy Stansbury crossed the finish line at 27:12.
Jelley saw great improvement in the women’s team and was pleased with Friday’s results.
“As a whole, the women’s team put out a very good race for us,” Jelley said. “We had about a 1:16 gap from our first to our fifth girl, which is better than we’ve ever had at that meet. I thought that it was a solid showing for us.”
Both teams will travel to State College, Pa., next for the Penn State National Invitational on Oct. 16.
Jeffrey Janiczek can be reached at email@example.com.