The men’s cross country team’s winning streak was brought to an unfortunate end at the University Athletic Association Cross Country Championships held in Van Cortland Park in the Bronx this weekend. The Yellowjackets faced stiff competition — all but one of the teams at the race were nationally ranked.

The men placed fifth out of eight teams and scored 113 points. They scored behind winning team Washington University in St. Louis with 42 points, New York University with 51, Carnegie Mellon University with 75 and Brandeis University with 92.

Junior James  Vavra was the team’s first man across the line, placing 16th overall, with a time of 26:10.10. Senior Dan Lane was only five seconds behind and placed 19th. Seniors Brian Lang, Craig Baumgartner and Jon Pinto rounded out the top five, at 25th, 26th and 27th, respectively. The team didn’t achieve all that they wanted to in the race, but are hopeful for the rest of the season.

“We didn’t quite reach our goals this weekend, but it was still a strong showing,” Baumgartner said. “NYU and Washington are ranked in the top 10 nationally (seventh and ninth respectively).  It’s a good sign that we can finish so close even if we have an off day. We had our seven guys in before NYU’s sixth man, which means that our team has a lot of depth which should help us a lot for regionals.”

With the cross country regionals less than two weeks away, the men still have a chance to prove their skill. Head coach John Izzo has a positive outlook for the team.

“We can and will run much better at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Meet on Nov. 13,” he said. “I fully expect this team to qualify for the National Championships.”

The women’s cross country team, meanwhile, placed last out of eight teams. Junior Hillary Snyder finished 17th out of 76 runners. Sophomore Megan Ogle, freshmen Katherine Thomas and Jennifer Olson and sophomore Catherine Nadeua rounded out the top five. The women’s team scored 221 points. Despite the team’s overall lackluster performance, head coach Barbara Hartwig is hopeful about the rest of their season, and blames the disappointing results on injuries. “The UAA is one of the two toughest DIII conferences in the nation,” she said. “We knew it was going to be a fast race and no one would show any mercy. The meet results reflected that. We have had one after another of our top runners go down with injury or illness. But you have to keep a perspective on things.  It will get better.”

Penney is a member of

the class of 2012.



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