As both cross country teams readied themselves on the starting line, they looked out to something they didn’t normally see the Genesee flowing around the course marked out around them in Genesee Valley park.

In the only home meet of the regular season, the men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the Yellowjacket Invitational at Genesee Valley Park this past Saturday. The ‘Pack the Park” event, a variation of Fill Fauver, brought loyal supporters over to the park and gave the two teams the welcome and support of getting to race at homea first and a last this season for the team.

The men’s cross country team took second place on their home turf, while the women’s team finished a strong fourth.

‘I think that we showed this weekend that we can compete with the tougher teams in the region,” Junior Dan Lane said of the weekend’s performances. ‘We’re fired up and ready to go again!”

Lane finished second for the ‘Jackets, finishing behind team leader junior Brian Lang, who finished an overall third in the race with a time of 25:02. These strong finishes put UR in a prime scoring position, and they ultimately finished in second place out of the 15 teams.

Rochester sophomore James Vavra finished best on the team in ninth overall, with junior Craig Baumgtartner taking 15th and junior Jon Pinto rounding off the scoring five, crossing the finish line at 23rd.

‘I was very pleased with how the team competed on Saturday, and I know that we have more in the tank,” head coach John Izzo said. ‘It was a great effort against a tough field.”
The ‘Jackets placed behind SUNY Geneseo, who had 39 points, but pulled ahead of Cornell University for second place by a small margin of four pointswith Cornell finished with 60 points and UR 56.

The women finished in fourth place in the same Invitational, finishing behind Geneseo (39), the University of Western Ontario (51) and Mansfield University (93). The Yellowjackets finished with 103 points, putting their top five runners within the top 26 runners in the meet and within an overall spread of only 44 seconds between all five of their runners.

‘The team ran very well against some strong competition,” head coach Barbara Hartwig said. Several people had personal best times. It was a good way to end the regular season.”

Finishing first for UR was sophomore Lauren Norton, taking an overall ninth place with a time of 18:41.

Senior Lisa Cole followed close behind in 19:15, with junior Megan O’Connor on her heels by five seconds and senior Allison McComb only four seconds behind O’Connor. Freshman Zarah Quinn finished off the scoring five for the women, in 26th place.

This invitational marked the end of the regular season for both teams. The men’s team finished with one first place, one second place, two third places and one fifth place finish in total. The women’s team finished with one first place, a tie for second, two fourth place finishes and one fifth place finish.

Next week both teams host the New York State Collegiate Conference Meet, again at Genesee Valley Park. The following week they head to Cleveland for the University Athletic Association Championships, with the NCAA championships also right around the corner.

Clark is a member of the class of 2012.

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