After racing in record high heat last Friday, the Owls welcomed the 70-degree temperatures when they traveled to New Jersey to run in the Rider Invitational.
Several individuals had success in the comfortable elements. The men’s team came in fifth place out of eight teams, led by graduate student Marc Steinsberger who finished first overall with a time of 24:39.04.
The women’s team came in fourth place overall, led by sophomore Katie Leisher who finished fourth, and freshman Millie Howard who finished sixth.
Steinsberger, who recorded his first collegiate win at the meet, has been the Owls’ top runner this season. He finished sixth overall and first among Owls at the Big 5 Invitational last week at Belmont Plateau. While Steinsberger’s first place finish was a huge accomplishment for the Owls, he wasn’t the only one who stepped up.
“The men did a really good job of grouping up and running as a pack,” said head coach James Snyder. “Our two through seven runners were all within 15 seconds of each other; if they can keep that up we will be in good shape.”
While the men’s team did a better job of staying together, Snyder would like to see the women’s team continue to fill the gap between their top three and four and five runners.
“There was about a minute difference between our second and third finishers,” Snyder said. “I would like to see that improve.”
The women’s team was also missing their top runner, freshman Grace Moore. Moore was Temple’s top finisher at the Duquesne and Big 5 invites where she finished second and fifth overall.
The coaching staff decided to keep Moore out of the race so she can be ready for the American Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 29, Snyder said.
“Grace is dealing with a bit of a nagging injury,” Snyder said. “Not having her set us back a little, but I told the girls to use it as a challenge.”
Howard accepted Snyder’s challenge. In her first 6,000 meter run, she came in second place for Temple and sixth place overall.
Temple’s other top finishers included freshmen Caitlin O’Brien for the women, and Kevin Lapsanksy for the men.
The cross country teams will be back in action Sat. October 1 at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University.
Teresa Sayers can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tessasayers11.