Weekend College XC Recap: St. Lawrence Upsets Williams & NYU at Saratoga Invite to Highlight Nation’s Many Ranked Showdowns
NEW ORLEANS – The first big nationally ranked head-to-head match-ups of the 2014 college cross country season playing themselves out on the trails around the nation this weekend, and it didn’t take long to get the first big upsets.
DI and DII‘s top match-ups all held to form (based on the rosters each of the teams ran), but DIII saw its first big surprise of the 2014 campaign as both the No. 2 Williams women — along with No. 9 NYU — and the No. 3 Williams men lost out in close battles to the No. 20 women and No. 25 men of St. Lawrence at Saturday’s RPI Saratoga Invitational.
Find out more about that meet and the rest of the results from the top-10 action from all three NCAA Divisions below.
Check out the full slate of results in the USTFCCCA InfoZone, and check back this afternoon for National Athletes of the Week.
No. 4 Oklahoma State, with most of its top runners on the sideline for a second straight weekend, finished runner-up to No. 21 Eastern Kentucky, 45-48, at the 8k Kentucky Bluegrass Invitational. Amos Kosgey of Eastern Kentucky took the win over Johnnie Guy of DII No. 6 Southern Indiana. Full TFRRS Results
Also running without all of its top runners, No. 8 Syracuse finished runner-up to Penn State and just ahead of No. 29 Georgetown at the Nittany Lions’ Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, 41-47-48. Matt Fischer of Penn State took the win in the 8.369k race over a duo of Syracuse men. Full TFRRS Results
No. 9 BYU did have most of its top squad in action, leading to a dominant victory at its home BYU Autumn Classic over No. 24 UCLA, 21-49. The Cougars had seven of the top 15 finishers in the four-team meet, with Spencer Gardner leading the way as the top collegian in second overall. Full Results
Like OSU and Syracuse, No. 10 Villanova ran without its top guys at the Big Five Invitational in Philly this weekend, finishing fourth with 107 points. Penn won the meet with a perfect 15-point score and the top seven finishers, the first six of whom crossed the line at nearly the exact same moment. Full TFRRS Results
No. 5 Georgetown made its season debut at the James Madison Open with its top women dominating the competition with a near-perfect score of 17 to host James Madison’s 57. Crossing the line on the 5.2k course in 17:46.0, the Hoyas’ Katrina Coogan topped the field by more than half a minute to lead seven top-10 finishers for Georgetown. Full TFRRS Results
Impressive for a second consecutive weekend, No. 6 Michigan State performed well in its unscored Auto Owners Spartan Invitational. Individual winner Leah O’Connor won the 6k race in 21:03 to lead Spartan 1-2-3-4 sweep, with in-state rival and two-time defending DII champ Grand Valley State also in the field. Full results
Despite the Auto Owners Spartan Invitational’s unscored nature, No. 2 Grand Valley State acquitted itself well in its 2014 debut. Squaring off with GLIAC rivals and foes from other Division I Michigan programs, the Lakers got a top-five finish from fourth-place Alan Peterson in the 8k race with another eight finishers among the top 30 – more than even host Michigan State. GLIAC rival Ashland also had a big day with senior Brian Baum taking the individual win in 24:36. Final Results
With its top squad back in action for the second weekend in a row, No. 3 Western State cruised to a perfect team victory at its own home Mountaineer Invitational. Last week’s National Athlete of the Week Keifer Johnson crossed the line on the 8K course in 25:56, nearly a full 30 seconds in front of the first of five WSCU teammates in a row behind him. Sixth overall? That would be 2011 cross country national champion Ryan Haebe, looking to make the most of his final cross country season after nearly losing his life in the summer of 2012 falling from a balcony in Boulder, Colorado. He has competed only intermittently for Western since as he recovers.
No. 10 Metro State was also in action at Western State, but didn’t field its top squad. It finished third of four with 82 points as a result. Full TFRRS Results
No. 6 Southern Indiana put up a good fight against a pair of top-25 Division I teams at the Kentucky Bluegrass Invitational, but ultimately finished fourth out of 10. The Screaming Eagles had the second and third overall finishers in Johnnie Guy and Tyler Pence, respectively, but the rest of the squad finished outside the top 30 to give USI 107 points. Full TFRRS Results
Hitting the trails for the first time in their quest for their third consecutive NCAA team title, the No. 1 Grand Valley State women turned in a solid debut at the unscored Auto Owners Spartan Invitational against Division I’s No. 6 Michigan State. The Lakers’ top two finishers – Kendra Foley and Jessica Janecke – finished fifth and sixth overall, with the rest of what would have been their five scorers among the top 21 overall finishers.
Both No. 8 Hillsdale and No. 9 Saginaw Valley State also ran well in East Lansing. Led by 18th-place Kristina Galat, Hillsdale’s top five all finished within the top-60 of 300+ runner field, while just one spot back in 19th was SVSU’s Emily Short. SVSU’s top five were all in the top 80. Reigning National Athlete of the Week Delainey Phelps of Ashland was 16th. Full Results
No. 3 Western State and No. 7 Metro State faced off for the second weekend in a row – this time at WSCU’s Mountaineer Open. And for the second weekend in a row, neither team ran its full top squad. The finish was tight, regardless, as WSCU edged out the Roadrunners, 48-49. Sophomore Amy Penn of WSCU was the top collegiate finisher, with Anna Marshall earning the title of overall winner. With only track eligibility remaining, Marshall was the Mountaineers’ top finisher from NCAAs a year ago. Full TFRRS results
No. 10 Winona State won the Midwest Invitational, hosted by UW-Parkside, dominating a field that included competition from all three NCAA divisions. With Jordan Skelly narrowly finishing runner-up in 18:21.4 on the 5k course to lead four Warriors in the top 10, Winona State won with 33 points to Division I Oakland’s 65. Full Results: Individual | Team
No. 2 North Central (Ill.) was all over the state of Illinois this weekend, splitting its squad between the Illinois State Invitational and the Illinois Intercollegiate. The Cardinals ran their top men at the former, finishing a narrow third behind Iowa and Indiana State, 48-52-58. Sixth-place finisher Troy Kelleher led three NCC men in the top 11 and five in the top 17. Indiana State’s John Mascari took the win. Full TFRRS results
The rest of its squad finished runner-up at the Illinois Intercollegiate among 14 teams. Full results
Top runner Colin Cotton got the individual win for No. 3 Williams in the Ephs’ 2014 debut, but it was No. 25 St. Lawrence that came away with the team win, 39-53, at the RPI Saratoga Invitational. Fifth-place Joseph Smith led five SLU men in the top 10. Williams had two top-three finishers in Cotton and third-place Bijan Mazaheri, but its third, fourth and fifth all finished between 13 and 20. No. 30 RPI was fifth behind third-place NYU and fourth-place Ithaca. Full TFRRS Results
The No. 7 Johns Hopkins men were fourth out of 10 at the Navy Invitational as the only non-Division I squad in the competition. The Blue Jays scored 107 behind Navy (17), American (74) and UMBC (85) as Austin Stecklair was 16th overall on the 8k course in 25:26.47, Navy’s John Sweeney took the win in 24:29.92. Full TFRRS Results
No. 8 UW-La Crosse was dominant in its season debut at the Concordia (Wis.) Falcon Invitational, scoring a near-perfect 16 points to Carthage’s 114. Alex Ciesielski won the 8k race in 25:25.2 to lead seven Eagles in the top 10. Full results: Individual | Team
No. 9 UW-Platteville easily won the UW-Whitewater Warhawk Invitational, scoring a tidy 20 points to UWW’s 44. The Miners’ Ian LaMere took the win on the 8k course in 25:39.1 ahead of UWW’s Dawson Miller to lead five UWP men in the top eight. Full TFRRS Results
It didn’t matter that they were facing all DI competition at the Navy Salty Dog Invitational, the two-time defending national champion No. 1 Johns Hopkins easily dispatched the field, winning, 24-53, over host Navy. Sophia Meehan took the win over teammate Frances Loeb in 21:53.7 on the 6k course, leading five Blue Jays in the top 10. Full TFRRS Results
No. 2 Williams’ women, like their male teammates, had their season debut at the RPI Saratoga Invitational spoiled by No. 20 St. Lawrence in a 41-43 race. Emma Zehner was fourth overall in the 5k race to lead three Ephs in the top seven, but, led by the duo of Cassia Hameline and Lisa Grohn in second and third overall, St. Lawrence had four of the first eight to cross the line.
At the same meet, No. 9 NYU was third with 87 points. The Wildcats were led by junior Lily Corsaro in ninth overall. Stevens’ Amy Regan took the win in 17:06.3. Full TFRRS Results
Like Williams, No. 3 Middlebury also got off to a slow start, finishing fourth of six teams at the Dartmouth Invitational and second among DIII squads to Keene State, 94-124. Allison Maxwell and Katie Carlson led the way for the Panthers in 30th and 31st, while Keene State had the top DIII finisher in 14th-place Samantha Goldsmith. Dartmouth’s Dana Giordano took the overall win. Full TFRRS Results
No slow start for No. 7 Calvin, which dominated at its home Knight Invitational to win with 21 points over NAIA’s St. Francis (Ill.) with 109. Cassie Vince led the Knights to a 1-3-4 individual finish with a victory on the 5k course in 17:50.1. Full TFRRS Results
No. 10 SUNY Geneseo traveled to Penn State to take on a largely DI field at the Harry Grove Spiked Shoe Invite, finishing sixth out of 10 teams as the top DIII squad. The Knights were led by 17th-place finisher Cassie Goodman and 28th-place Alyssa Knot as the only two top-30 DIII finishers in the 131-racer field in the 6K race. Syndey Leiher of Syracuse was the top collegiate finisher in second overall. Full Results