Owls excel in final meet before conference championships

The men’s and women’s teams both earned top three finishes at the Leopard Invitational on Saturday.

The Owls had one of their best showings of the year at the Leopard Invitational, hosted by Lafayette College on Saturday.

The women’s team finished in first place out of five teams, and the men’s team came in second out of seven teams.

Freshman Grace Moore picked up her first collegiate win, with teammate sophomore Katie Leisher coming in second place overall.

On the men’s side, graduate student Marc Steinsberger captured his second first place finish for Temple, while sophomore Johnathan Condly came in second overall.  

“John is in ROTC here at Temple and he was away this summer, so he wasn’t able to train running-wise,” Coach James Snyder said. “But after watching him today, I have no doubt that he is back and at 100 percent and ready to be a contributor at the conference championship.”

Freshmen Kevin Lapsansky and Zach Seiger and sophomore Tyji Mays all placed in the Top 20. Lapsansky finished ninth, Seiger placed 18th and Mays came shortly behind at 20th.

Four women followed Moore and Leisher to help the Owls have six runners in the Top 20. Freshman Millie Howard finished fourth, followed by seniors Megan Schneider and Emily Nist, who finished eighth and 18th respectively. Sophomore Ashton Dunkley finished 19th.

This race, the team’s last before the American Athletic Conference Championship on Oct. 29, gave Snyder a better idea of what his five-person roster for the Championship is going to look like.

Snyder said the roster won’t be finalized until toward the end of the week.

“I want to see how people come off this race,” Snyder said. “We held out Katie Pinson due to a virus and Caitlin O’Brien, who has been dealing with some IT band issues.”

In order to prepare for the conference championship, Snyder wants to get his team in shape mentally.

“The next couple weeks are more about mental preparation than anything physical,” Snyder said. “A lot of the hard work has already been done, now it’s about getting the mind ready to go out and perform at a high level.”

 “I look through the results and I look through the other teams and see where I project us to be.” Snyder added. “I then instruct them with a race plan that allows them to get into the best positions throughout the course of the race.”

With the fall season winding down, Snyder is optimistic about the coming weeks.

“I was happy with how we competed, but we still have room to grow. …We still need some more consistency, but I think we are in a good position,” Snyder said.

Tessa Sayers can be reached at teresa.sayers@temple.edu or on Twitter @tessasayers11.

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