Cross country starts season at Duquesne Duals

The Carnegie Mellon cross country team kicked off its season at the Duquesne Duals in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh last Saturday. Both the men’s and women’s teams showed strong performances against tough Division I teams from Duquesne and St. Bonaventure universities, the University of Pittsburgh, and Canisius, St. Vincent, Wheeling Jesuit, Juniata, and Niagara colleges.

The men’s team (6–2) finished third while the women’s team (4–3) took fourth place. Duquesne teams finished first in their respective races.

In the men’s 8K race, sophomore Dan Addis led the team with a time of 26:56, finishing 14th overall. Behind Addis, sophomore Justin Kurp (27:47) and senior Raphael Bertrand (27:48) took 28th and 29th, respectively.

“The competition at the meet was intense. Most of the competition was among our own team, as finding our place on the team was more of a goal than winning the meet,” Kurp said.

Sophomores Josh Eickmeier (27:53) and Erik Kallenbach (27:54) followed to finish 31st and 32nd overall, respectively. First-year Rob Morhard had a solid performance, placing 36th overall with a time of 28:07 in his first collegiate race.

“My first college race was definitely a humbling experience,” Morhard said. “I’m used to 5K races, so when I passed that point in the race and still had about two miles left, I wasn’t feeling too great. I have a lot more respect for the older guys on the team now that I can relate to their times and see how hard it is to be that fast.”

On the women’s side, first-year Liz Stern impressed her teammates by finishing first overall with a time of 18:40 in the 5K race. Sophomore Courtney Baker (19:53) and first-year Cassie Wallace (19:58) followed to finish 15th and 17th overall, respectively. Junior Anna Lenhart placed 29th with a time of 20:38. To round out the top seven, senior Chrissy Krutz (20:49) and sophomore Laura McKee (21:01) took 31st and 35th, respectively.

“I remember near the finish, there were people on the sidelines cheering for the Duquesne girl right behind me,” said Stern. “I didn’t know how far behind me she was, because I couldn’t see her, but the clapping from her [got] closer and closer to where I was running so I picked up the pace and ended up beating her by about two seconds.”

This Saturday, the cross country team will compete at the Waynesburg University Invitational at Waynesburg, Pa.