By Dan Beck
The men’s and women’s cross country teams both had a good showing at the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championships at Delaware Valley College on October 30. The men’s team took third place overall, while the women placed fourth.
Leading the way on the 8,000 meter course for the men were seniors Mike Curry, who placed 14th with 26:34 and Kevin Gwinn, who followed closely behind in 16th with 26:42. The Bulldogs also saw impressive races from the freshman duo of Zach Kaminski (27:05) and Bryan Megee (27:07), who placed 21st and 22nd respectively. Senior Jack Tarpey rounded out the top five runners for the Bulldogs, finishing in 27th place with 27:15.
“The race went pretty well,” said Curry. “I wanted to get in the top ten, but I can’t be disappointed.”
Elizabethtown College dominated the race, taking home both the team and individual titles, scoring just 18 points. E-Town junior, Charlie Larsen, was first overall.
“The conference is strong, but everyone had a good day,” said Curry. “It was close for second, third and fourth and we were just short of second. We did all we could,” said Curry.
The race for second was indeed close. Widener University scored 84 points to edge out the Bulldogs, who scored 90. Messiah College was right behind DeSales with 93 points.
The Lady Bulldogs ran a solid race on the 6,000 meter course behind the efforts of their first-year students. Sarah Braun was the top team runner, placing 12th, and fellow first-year student, Cara Guth, was a few seconds behind in 13th place. Another first-year student, Melissa Buttner, ran 24:23 to just crack into the top twenty. Rounding out the scorers for the Bulldogs were sophomores Rachel Winters (45th place) and Michelle Lipari (49th place).
Braun, who was battling a foot injury as of late and was forced to bike during practices, was happy with her race.
“It went a lot better than I was expecting. After not running for so long, I thought I would feel exhausted halfway through, but thanks to the bike workouts coach gave me, I felt in shape and in control of the race,” said Braun.
The women placed an impressive fourth behind team champion Elizabethtown, runner-up Lebanon Valley, and Messiah.
“Overall I think we had a successful season and I’m proud of what we accomplished,” said Braun. “We all worked together to motivate each other and run not just for ourselves, but as a team.”
Despite their success at MACs, the Bulldogs are not finished yet. Both teams will round out their season Saturday at Slippery Rock for the NCAA Division III Mid-East Regional Meet.