In an impressive showing, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams ran to first-place finishes on Saturday in the Harry Anderson Cross Country Invitational.

‘We started out smart this weekend and I think that really helped us,” junior Dan Lane said. ‘Several of our guys ran their best times coming off a hard week, and we should be able to perform well against better competition at [SUNY] Geneseo on Saturday.”

Winning the Invitational for the men was junior Brian Lang, who beat out 93 other runners from nine teams to cross the finish line in a time of 25:55. Lane was close behind, taking second place overall with a time of 26:03.

Sophomore James Vavra took fourth, followed by junior Craig Baumgartner in fifth place and sophomore Jason Zayac in eighth.

On the women’s side, sophomore Lauren Norton, freshman Zarah Quinn and senior Allison McComb swept the second, third and fourth positions, respectively, crossing the finish line within a mere 39 seconds of each other.

This was the first race of the season for Norton, who last season qualified for the NCAA National Tournament.

Right on their heels were teammates senior Lisa Cole, sophomore Hillary Snyder and junior Megan O’Connor, who took 6-7-8 and passed through the finish line within a time span of only half a second.

‘Everything we have been working on happened in this race,” O’Connor said. ‘We successfully ran in packs and nearly all of us set a [personal record]… It really gave us the confidence that we can race and be competitive in the upcoming bigger races.”

The women finished with 22 total points, 39 points below the second-place host school, Roberts Wesleyan College, who recorded a 61. The men finished in first place with an overall team score of 20 17 points below second-place school Geneseo and 103 points below Roberts Wesleyan.

The team with the lowest score, based on the places of its first five runners, is declared the winner. A tie would be broken by the sixth- or seventh-place runners.

This was the second-straight Harry Anderson title for the men, who beat out six area teams last year to win. This year’s results were just as impressive for the Yellowjackets seven UR runners for the men’s team finished in the top 13 overall, including Take Five Scholar Tyler Kieft in 11th and junior Jacob Tutmaher, who placed 13th.

‘The results are very encouraging,” Baumgartner said. ‘But we’re really looking forward to Geneseo this weekend, which should be our first big test.”

Clark is a member of the class of 2012.

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