The UR cross country teams provided their “B” teams with an opportunity to gain experience last weekend, as the top runners stayed home and the rest of the team participated in the Nazareth Invitational at Nazareth College.

The women’s team placed exceptionally well, coming in third out of 10 teams..

SUNY Fredonia and Nazareth stole the race, taking 12 of the top 13 places and placing first and second, respectively, well ahead of UR’s third-place finish of 100 points.

Leading the ‘Jackets was freshman Allie McComb, who was the second runner not from Fredonia or Nazareth. She placed 14th out of 91 finishers with a time of 17:13 on a muddy four-kilometer course. Right behind her was senior Stacy Allen, who placed 15th and crossed the line at 17:15.

Sophomore Chelsea McGuire was next for the Yellowjackets, placing 18th and finishing in 17:36. Freshman Suzanne Giunta came in at 18:07 and placed 28th. The fifth scorer for the team was freshman Rachel Twardowski, who placed 35th and finished in 18:25.

The men’s team, which only brought five runners to the meet, placed fifth out of nine teams.

However, according to junior Jake Zucker, it is suspected that the course is about a quarter mile longer than documented, “which is frustrating because it makes the individual results difficult to interpret,” he said.

This was a different experience for the athletes not only because they were the leaders of the team, but also because there were only five of them, so they all had the pressure of being the scorers.

Leading the pack was sophomore Ezra Milby, who placed 21st with a time of 23:05. Soon after was fellow sophomore Tyler Kieft, clocking in at 23:11 and placing 23rd.

Next for UR was junior Jake Zucker, who crossed the finish line at 23:47 and in 32nd place. Eleven seconds later sophomore Dana Kaplan came in at 23:58 and placed 35th. The final scorer for UR was freshman Jeff Whalley, who placed 46th and was timed at 25:30. There were 81 finishers in the race.

“The race provided a nice opportunity to gain more experience leading into the critical part of the season,” Zucker said.

This weekend, the ‘Jackets will be hosting the UR Alumni Invitational at Genesee Valley Park on Saturday, Oct. 14. All are encouraged to come and cheer on, as this is their final home meet of the season. The gun goes off at 11 a.m. for the men and noon for the women.

Philbrick can be reached at

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