Alex Izewski, Matt Kacyon and Stephan Listabarth have a habit of finding each other on the cross country course.
“When we are out here on the course it’s kind of just find a white jersey and just pull each other along,” Izewski said. “That’s kind of strategy when we come to these races.”
The Owls placed fifth out of seven teams at the Main Line Invitational Friday.
Izewski finished 10th out of 150 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 57 seconds. Kacyon placed 17th and Listabarth finished 25th with times of 20:07 and 20:24, respectively.
“Me, Matt and Stephan had a plan to get out hard, so we were out pretty quick through our first mile,” Izewski said. “So that was kind of game plan and then just sit up front and stay with the top pack throughout the race and we pretty much did that for most of the laps, so it went pretty well.”
Listabarth, a junior transfer from Vienna, Austria, began his career as an Owl with a first-place finish at the Duquesne Duals Sept. 5 with a time of 26:09. Fifth-year seniors Izewski and Kacyon finished the Duquesne Duals in fifth and ninth with times of 26:22 and 26:38.2, respectively.
Izewski dashed to a fifth place finish in the team’s next race Sept. 11 at the Big 5 Invitational held at Belmont Plateau with a time of 19:13.5. Kacyon finished 10th at the event and Listabarth finished 11th.
“[Kacyon and Izewski] are guys who have been here through four different coaches, a lot transition,” Snyder said. They are guys who have come out on the other side and they’re running the best they’ve ever run right now.”
Listabarth has been in the United States for three weeks and Snyder said his successful transition to the team can be credited to his teammates.
“They’ve been a great welcoming group,” Snyder said. “I feel Stephan is just one of the guys now. There’s no difference. Culturally, I’m sure the food is a little bit different and there are things that need to be adjusted being away from home for the first time, but he’s adjusting pretty well.”
Listabarth is only one of the new additions on this year’s team, as the Owls also feature seven freshmen.
“It’s a big change for us older guys,” Izewski said. “We went from six of us, to adding Stephan and then adding seven freshmen. It’s a lot better because now we actually have depth and now we can let them know what college running is like. It’s been nice because now we have a lot more depth than we ever had before.”
Stephen Godwin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.