Heading into the Atlantic Regional Championships on Saturday, the men’s cross country team made it their goal to finish in single digits. They came up just short of their intended mark, finishing 11th out of 33 competing teams.
“It was a disappointing day,” Head Coach John Izzo said.
Most disappointing was not the team’s effort or performance, but simply their inability to crack the top ten.
“We ran pretty well. Dan Duett and Terence Cordner had solid performances and Andy Dylag had a great day. No else really had a bad day, but it just wasn’t a peak performance. We just needed one person to step up and we definitely could have been in the top ten. RIT was ninth with 286 points, we had 348 – it wouldn’t have taken a whole lot,” Izzo said.
As has been the case for most of the season, junior Dan Duett was the team’s top finisher. He ran 26:04 in the eight kilometer race to finish 24th overall, earning All-Region honors. Finishing second for the men once again was junior Terence Cordner, who was 69th overall, crossing the finish line in 27:07. Not far behind him, sophomore Andy Dylag ran 27:11 to finish in 73rd place. Freshman Ben Snyder was 80th overall with a time of 27:18, finishing fourth among the UR men. Rounding out the top five for the men was sophomore Chris Nolan, who ran a time of 27:43 to finish 102nd in the 217- man field. Also competing for the men was sophomore Ian Slattery, who finished right behind Nolan in 103rd place, and junior Peter Nabozny, who was 117th. “I really thought going in that we would have put all of our top five runners under 65th place if we had a good day, but we were only able to put one,” Izzo said.
The so-so finish at Regional Championships ended a rollercoaster season for the men.
“Some weeks we were up, some weeks we were down. I don’t feel we ever had five people – which it takes to score – running at or near their best in a single meet all season. We started the season with 16 guys who were going to contribute to the success or failure of the team. By the time we got to Regionals, we had just eight truly healthy guys,” Izzo said.
Despite the disappointment and the injury bug that was prevalent throughout the season, there were still a number of positives that emerged as the season progressed. On an individual basis, “Ian Slattery carried us early and Terence Cordner came on late. Dan Duett was the model of consistency. Ben Snyder had a great freshman year, and Andy Dylag had a tremendous late season surge. [As a team,] they never stopped working hard, and nobody ever quit. They worked very hard in practice and raced very aggressively. I was very proud of that,” Izzo said.
With several weeks until the season opening track and field meet on Dec. 6, the men will have some time off to continue healing their injuries and regroup before the winter season commences.
The women’s cross country season ended on a semi-positive note Saturday at the Atlantic Regional Championships. After struggling through their previous few meets, with the bottom coming last week at UAA Championships, where they finished last out of eight teams, the women’s team finished 12th out of 30 competing teams at Saturday’s Regionals.
“We certainly ran better than we did the week before. Was it great? No. But it was a better effort than the week before. I don’t think anyone had any kind of satisfaction with those previous meets as a whole – even though there were some decent individual performances. I think Saturday we left with a little bit better taste in our mouths,” Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said.
The team was led on Saturday by senior Mary LeBrun, who battled through late-season injuries to finish in 33rd place. Her time of 24:26 on the six-kilometer course earned her All-Region honors.
“It was a nice send-off after finishing the second half of the season injured. Considering where she had been because of injuries in the past couple weeks, I was very pleased to see her in the top 35 on Saturday,” Hartwig said.
Senior Lisa Brassaw ran 25:02 to set a new personal best, finishing second among the UR women and 56th overall. She was followed by senior Erika Wasserstein, who crossed the finish line in 64th place. Sophomore Kate Pohlman came in 81st place, completing the race, and her first college cross country season, in 25:39. “I’m hoping that Kate’s decision to run cross country this season will help her for the track season,” Hartwig said. The final scorer for the women was junior Katherine McKenzie, who ran 26:45, earning 130th place. Junior Elizabeth Boerman and freshman Charlotte Reardon also competed for the women, finishing back to back in 150th and 151st, place respectively. “I’m just disappointed in the way things panned out this season. We were never really able to get it together all season,” Hartwig said.
The conclusion of the season comes at a good time for the women, who can now turn their focus to the upcoming season. “Because of their frustrations with the way the cross country season went, some people are looking forward to our first meet on Dec. 6,” Hartwig said.
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