Despite the cold, miserable weather two weekends ago, the cross country teams pulled off sound finishes at the annual UR Alumni Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 14. Held at Genesee Valley Park, the meet hosted nine men’s teams and 10 women’s teams.

The men finished fourth overall, with their first five runners placing in the top 25. The team accumulated 82 points, just eight behind third place SUNY Brockport. Ahead of them was the University of Western Ontario and Allegheny College, who tied for first with 35 points apiece.

“We fell short of beating SUNY Brockport, some of our largest competition in the region, but we have been working really hard and did not ease up at all for the meet,” sophomore Dan Chebot said.

First to come in for the ‘Jackets was the ever-dependable junior Mark Stevens. He placed third, timed at 25:46 for the eight-kilometer course. Next for Rochester was junior Pat Hughes, who placed 13th overall and clocked in at 26:28. Chebot was third for the team in 19th and 26:28.

Just nine seconds later junior Dan Mueller crossed the line in 27:03 for a 22nd place finish. Rounding off the scoring for the ‘Jackets was sophomore Tom Brekke, who placed 25th and had a time of 27:18.

The women also faced the elements with force at GVP. However, juniors Kellie Hasslewander and Laura Richenderfer both didn’t run, along with freshman Hilary Haefner due to injury, which put the team at a definite disadvantage. The Yellowjackets placed sixth of 10 teams with 170 points, narrowly defeated by Nazareth College, who placed fifth with 169 points. The champion team was the B team from Cornell University, a Division I school, scoring just 28 points.

The promise of the future was truly seen at this meet, though, as freshman Sadie Gollub was the first finisher for UR, placing 28th with a time of 24:43 for the six-kilometer race. Next for the ‘Jackets was senior Nora Craighead, who came in at 25:05 and placed 30th.

Seniors Whitney Silkworth and Stacy Allen were the next two runners to come in for the team, coming in right after one another in 35th and 36th places and in times of 25:30 and 25:37, respectively. Finishing it up for Rochester was another freshman, Rachel Given, who placed 41st with a time of 25:59.

With only 1:16 between the first and the fifth runners, the team ran in a tight pack, something they have done well throughout the year.

This past weekend the runners took the weekend off in preparation for the upcoming stretch of various championship races, the first of which being the University Athletic Association Championships held at Washington University in St. Louis this Saturday.

“If we get the three girls back from injuries, we could surprise some teams in the postseason,” women’s head coach Barbara Hartwig said.

“When we run at UAAs we should look like a totally different team because we are yet to race rested,” Chebot said. “This will give us a huge edge because, while all the other teams were resting for every weekend, we were putting in hard work and getting stronger as opposed to coasting through the season workout wise.”

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.

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