Cross country has ‘tune-up meet’ at Princeton

The men finished fifth and the women finished sixth in the Princeton Invitational on Saturday in New Jersey.

Freshman Grace Moore (left), sophomore Katie Leisher and freshman Millie Howard practice at Belmont Plateau on Oct. 26. PATRICK CLARK | FILE PHOTO

Temple ran its final meet before the American Athletic Conference championship on Saturday in New Jersey at the Princeton Invitational.

The men finished fifth in a field of 21 schools, and the women placed sixth out of 20.

Graduate student Marc Steinsberger placed eighth with a time of 24 minutes, 17.9 seconds. Freshman Anton Harrsen finished in 16th. Sophomore Kevin Lapsansky came in 32nd, and freshman Kristian Jensen came 36th.

Sophomore Grace Moore was Temple’s top finisher for the third meet in a row, taking sixth place. Junior Katie Leisher and freshman Lucy Jones took 16th and 20th, respectively.

The Princeton Invitational was the most competitive meet Temple has ran in this year, coach James Snyder said. He looked for his teams to have a “competitive showing” in their last meet before the conference championship on Oct. 28.

“Everyone did a really solid job today,” Snyder said. “I just want our athletes to use this as a tune-up meet, but at the same time wanted them to go out and compete. Now it is time to get back to training to sharpen us up for the conference meet.”

Snyder said he knows mostly who his runners will be for the conference meet. The nine men who competed Saturday, barring any injuries or setbacks, will be on the starting line for the conference meet, Snyder said.

Sophomores Zach Seiger and David Fitzgerald will be part of that nine. They took 47th and 54th place, respectively, at Princeton. Junior captain Johnathan Condly and sophomores Justin Yurchak and Donovan Mears will also be among the nine runners.

Snyder’s decision for the women’s roster depends on Katie Pinson’s health. The senior entered Saturday as the team’s third runner, Snyder said. She rolled one of her ankles on Saturday and had to leave the race early, he said.

Snyder and the training staff believe the injury isn’t serious and that Pinson should be ready to run on Oct. 28.

“We aren’t going to reinvent the wheel before the conference meet,” Snyder said. “These two weeks will be consist more of backing off…and making sure everyone is healthy so we have our best team in two weeks.”

Snyder said he wants the men to use some of Princeton University’s tactics during the conference championship meet. The Tigers finished first on Saturday.

“[Princeton’s] men ran that race with extreme confidence,” Snyder said. “They ran like they knew that course better than everyone else, and that is a mindset we need to have these coming weeks. We have that advantage, and I believe it puts us in great position to go out and win the conference.”

The Owls have 13 days to prepare for the conference title meet. The American championship will be held at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park. The men’s 8,000-meter race will start at 10 a.m., and the women’s 6,000 will be start at 10:50 a.m.

“We are going to keep our heads down, get the rest we need, so we can respond well to training,” Snyder said. “Then we have to go out run on our home course for the most important race of the season.”

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