Men’s cross country team wins its home invitational

Last Saturday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams returned home to race at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational in Schenley Park. The men beat 19 teams to win the invitational; the women placed ninth out of 20 teams.

Building on their first-place finish at the Dickinson Invitational the previous week, the men edged out Mount Union College to secure the overall team victory with 43 points.

Mount Union finished ahead of the Tartans at the Spiked Shoe Invitational at Penn State earlier in the season, but fell short on Saturday, finishing in second place with 55 points. The Carnegie Mellon alumni team took third with 124 points.

The women’s team finished ninth with 236 points. George Washington University took the overall first place with 83 points. Saint Francis University and the University of Pittsburgh finished in second and third place with 113 and 125 points respectively. The Carnegie Mellon women’s alumni team raced to a fifth-place finish with 156 points.

Men’s cross country

Despite the windy conditions, sophomore Brian Harvey came in first place overall in the 8K race with a time of 25:41.51. After winning the 4K last weekend at the Dickinson Invitational, Harvey has placed first in back-to-back races.

“It’s pretty exciting to win,” Harvey said. “It was the perfect temperature for running, but it was tough coming up the hill.”

Senior captain Geoff Misek was close behind Harvey, finishing third overall with a time of 26:11.09. Sophomore Breck Fresen and first-year Dario Donatelli finished ninth and 10th overall with times of 26:23.88 and 26:24.32, respectively.

Junior Jason Jura finished 20th overall with a personal best time of 26:41.55.

“I ran 30 to 40 seconds better than the previous race,” Jura said. “The [wind] wasn’t so bad in the woods. Last half mile, it was really windy, but a Mount Union runner was blocking the wind so that helped.”

Junior Mark Tressler and sophomore Ryan Anderson finished 25th and 26th with times of 26:51.10 and 26:41.46, respectively, to round out the top seven. “I finally ran the best race in a long time,” Tressler said.

The men’s team will look to carry its momentum into Saturday’s race at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships. The race will be hosted by Washington University in St. Louis.

Women’s cross country

First-year Hallie Espel continued her impressive rookie season by finishing 27th overall and first for the Tartans with a time of 19:42.94 in the 5K race. “I am very happy with the race,” Espel said. “Honestly, I didn’t expect to lead the team. We do workouts together and we’re really working on running as a team.”

Behind Espel, first-year Danielle Sedlack and sophomore Carolyn Clayton finished second and third for the team with times of 19:55.83 and 20:00.66, respectively.

Senior Jerri Castillo and junior Carrie Kmetzo followed with times of 20:26.88 and 20:39.06, respectively. First-year Anna Lenhart and sophomore Chrissy Krutz rounded out the top seven with times of 20:54.05 and 21:04.89, respectively.
The women’s team will join the men’s team at the UAA Championships at Wash. U. in St. Louis on Saturday.