Sophomore Mark Stevens led the way for the men’s cross country team once again as they took advantage of a unique opportunity on Oct. 7.

The Yellowjackets made a trip to Ohio Wesleyan University to run on the NCAA Division III National Championship course. This eight-kilometer course was a tough one, entailing many rolling hills and sharp turns.

Not only was the layout rough, but the weather conditions increased the difficulty of the race as it rained all day and the course was extremely muddy. The poor conditions didn’t seem to stop the men, though. Stevens represented UR extraordinarily well, finishing second in the field of 353 runners, with a time of 26:27.

Following him were junior Andrew Whitbeck placing 43rd with a time of 27:50, sophomore Dan Mueller placing 49th with a time of 27:58, senior Kevin McGettrick placing 70th with a time of 28:17 and junior Joseph Lust placing 71st with a time of 28:18.

The men finished sixth out of 13 teams, but this poorly reflects the performance of the runners.

“Ohio was a solid showing altogether,” Stevens said. “We ran well considering we had a hard training week,”

The score was not important, anyway. The men have now seen the national championship course, and any runner on the team who qualifies for nationals will know what to expect in November.

The men had yet another impressive showing this past Saturday at their annual home meet, the Alumni Invitational.

UR finished third out of nine schools. Totaling 66 points, the Yellowjackets came in just slightly behind second place SUNY Brockport. Allegheny College, ranked 19th in the current Division III poll, took the crown scoring just 20 points. Our men did manage to surpass SUNY Geneseo – ranked 16th – which finished fourth.

Once again, Stevens was at the head of the pack, finishing third overall with a time of 25:46.

Lust finished 12th with a time of 27:08. McGettrick finished 13th with a time of 27:12, while Mueller finished 17th with a time of 27:18 Freshman Daniel Chebot joined the pack by finishing 21st with a time of 27:23.

This year, UR will host the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships at Genesee Valley Park, so the race served as great practice. This is not until Nov. 12, though, and the men have many other races before this one. They will run in the Alumni Fun Run this weekend and will then head to the UAA Championships at Carnegie Mellon on Oct. 29.

Philbrick can be reached at ephilbrick@camustimes.org.



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