Tartan cross country takes second and fifth

Last Saturday, the Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Invitational. The entire men’s team made its debut and had a strong showing, finishing second with 44 points behind Slippery Rock University’s 15 points. The women’s team also had a solid finish with 119 points, placing fifth among seven teams. IUP won the invitational with 28 points.

Despite windy weather and a hilly course, the men’s team saw four runners in the top 10. Junior Breck Fresen led the team and finished sixth overall with a time of 27:29. First-year J.P. Allen and senior Mark Tressler finished seventh and ninth overall with times of 27:30 and 27:53, respectively. Fifth-year Geoff Misek took 10th with a time of 27:43.

“Today was the first race for a few of the freshmen. J.P. ran well, especially for this being his first ever five-mile race. Mark Tressler also ran well. We knew he was in good shape, but it was good to see him put it together,” Fresen said. “In general it was nice to see a really tight pack. I think our spread was only 18 seconds, which is really promising.”

Behind Misek, junior Ryan Anderson had an impressive day placing 12th with a time of 27:47. Sophomore Dario Donatelli and junior Mike Condon took 15th and 16th with times of 28:01 and 28:02, respectively.

“Being my first year on the team, today was the only opportunity I’ve had to race with the varsity guys so I was excited to see where I fell in with the pack,” Condon said.

Sophomore Chris Rizzo (28:11) and senior Dan Carmody (28:17) finished 18th and 20th overall, respectively. A pair of first-years, Justin Kurp (28:19) and Dan Addis (28:40), also finished strong, taking 22nd and 29th.

Senior captain Doug Fricker rounded out the top 12 runners for the Tartans, placing 30th overall with a time of 28:45. “Our captain Doug Fricker had a big day today, [and] also Ryan Anderson showed a hint of talent that none of us knew he possessed,” Misek said.

On the women’s side, junior Carolyn Clayton took first for the team and 22nd overall with a time of 25:50. Behind Clayton, first-years Rebecca Hachey (26:19) and Kristen Staab (26:26) finished 29th and 31st overall, respectively.

Senior Erin Gagnon took 36th overall with a time of 26:44, while first-year Laura McKee (26:53) came in right behind Gagnon to finish 37th overall. Sophomore Anna Lenhart placed 38th overall with a time of 26:56.

“I think the most noteworthy aspect of the women’s race was our spread — from our first to our fifth girl, there was only 1:03,” Staab said.

Junior Chrissy Krutz (27:27) and senior Ashley Bakelmun (27:53) took 43rd and 45th overall, respectively. Junior Rachel Perry finished in 29:09 (56th), while first-year Amal El-Ghazaley (30:11) rounded out the top 10 runners with a 59th finish overall.

The Tartans will split up for their next meet. Some runners will travel this Saturday to the St. Vincent Invitational in Latrobe, Pa., while next Friday, the top runners will participate in the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.