Though there was a large space vacated by the strong force of the class of 2008 on the men’s cross country team, it certainly wasn’t noticeable this past weekend. Despite losing top runner Mark Stevens ’08, along with classmates Patrick Hughes, Dan Mueller and Nick Roosa, who were also steady members of the top five, UR took command of the 2008 Brockport 5K Challenge. The ‘Jackets totaled 34 points for top honors well ahead of runner-up SUNY Fredonia’s 50.
The underclassmen of the team stepped up to the challenge of filling the vacancies quite well. Sophomores Jon Pinto and Brian Lang and freshman James Vavra created a solid block of blue that made the win easy to achieve. Pinto crossed the finish fourth overall in a field of 106 with a time of 16:19.9. He and Lang ran together for the final 1,000 meters, and Lang came through the chute just behind him, placing fifth with a time of 16:20.2. Vavra kept up with his two elders, finishing sixth in 16:23.5.
The two captains provided leadership and support by rounding out the top five. Senior Dan Chebot came in eighth overall, clocking in at 16:25.4. Junior Tyle Stelzig ensured that all scoring runners finished in the top 10 by placing 10th with a time of 16:35.4.
In addition, freshman Jason Zayac proved to be a strong runner in the tiebreaker position by finishing just behind Stelzig in 11th at 16:39.7.
Just as the men’s team lost many important seniors, the women’s team lost its two top runners Take Five Scholar Kellie Hasselwander and Laura Richenderfer ’08. However, there is a still a group of valuable juniors who are working hard to fill the void. The team also had a solid start to its season, taking third in the invitational out of seven teams.
Leading the way was junior Sadie Gollub, who placed 11th in the field of 93, finishing in 20:37.0. Classmate Allie McComb finished 20th, crossing the finish in 21:00.4. Next came a promising freshman newcomer Hillary Snyder, who was just two places behind
McComb and timed 21:06.2. Junior Heather Graham also contributed to the pack from the class of 2010, placing 29th overall with a time of 21:26.7. The final scorer for the ‘Jackets was senior Chelsea Maguire, who finished in 21:38.6, good for 33rd.
UR totaled 100 points, finishing well behind host Brockport, who took the win with just 21 points, and Hamilton College, who competed closely against Brockport with 38 points.
This weekend, the team will not be competing and will train for the Harry Anderson Invitational at Roberts Wesleyan College on Saturday, Sept. 27.
Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.