After setting the expectations high for the American Athletic Conference Championships, the Owls failed to meet their goals as the men’s team finished sixth out of nine teams, while the women finished last out of 11 schools Friday.
“As a team effort goes, we need to get a whole lot better,” coach James Snyder said. “We are in a nationally-competitive conference.”
The meet took place at the University of Tulsa, which took the overall men’s and women’s titles.
The men’s course was an 8-kilometer race, while the women ran on a 6-kilometer course.
For the Temple men, redshirt-junior Matt Kacyon finished eighth overall with a time of 25 minutes, 23 seconds.
“Matt did a great job,” Snyder said. “He’s the first all-conference runner we have. I think he put himself to be in the all-region and possibly the national meet.”
Kacyon was pleased with his performance individually and said he’s excited for NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional at Penn State on Nov. 14. Kacyon also hopes that the team will start to improve.
“It feels really good,” Kacyon said. “I’m extremely happy I was able to go into the race and come out of the race feeling the same way. As far as the team goes, I think we could have done a lot better.”
“Overall this needs to be a sense of improvement. We definitely could have had a top 5 finish today and we fell short,” Kacyon added. “I think overall as a group we have to find that race to bring it all together.”
The second finisher for the Owls was junior Alex Izewski, who placed 19th out of 73 runners with a time of 26:07.
On the women’s side, senior Jenna Dubrow led the pack for the Owls with a mark of 21:50, which landed her an 18th-place finish.
Freshman Katie Pinson placed 31st as she ran the 6K in 22:35. Pinson had the second-best performance for the women’s team.
“For Katie’s first conference race, it was admirable,” Snyder said. “To be right around the Top 30 is promising for her future.”
Snyder attributes the lack of success to the transition into the American Athletic Conference and said recruiting will play a significant part in any potential success moving forward.
“I think transitioning from the [Atlantic 10 Confernece] to The American is big,” Snyder said. “We need to continue to bring in good talent. This isn’t the A-10 anymore.”
Ed LeFurge III can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @EdLeFurgeIII.