First-Years Shine Again For Cross Country

Edouard Boulat

Colgate’s cross-country teams continued to accrue some impressive early season trends when they competed at the University of Buffalo Invitational last weekend. The women’s team (23 points) notched another win by handily defeating host Buffalo (38 points), ranked 15th in Colgate’s region.

“It was nice to beat a ranked team so easily,” Women’s Head Coach Laura Nardelli said. “It really shows how strong we are individually and as a team.”

First-year star Stacey Marion, who placed third overall, led all Colgate harriers by completing the 3.1 mile course in a fast time of 19:00. Marion recently received the Patriot League Athlete of the Week award for her performance at the Binghamton Invitational. Not far behind was senior Elizabeth Kennedy, who placed fourth in 19:05. Kennedy and Marion are quickly developing into a formidable one-two punch that all future opponents should watch out for. The next three runners that finished for Colgate proved crucial in the Raiders’ dominant win, as all three improved on their personal best times. Sophomore Emily Oliver ran a career-best time of 19:41.6, good enough for seventh place. Junior Jessica Kielty dropped an impressive 24 seconds from her personal-best time to place eighth overall at 19:51. Rounding out the top five was senior Kathryn Marvel, who shaved 20 seconds off of her time from last season. She finished ninth overall. The Raiders executed perfect pack running on their way to an easy victory, as the top five runners were only one minute apart.

Colgate will compete at the Paul Short Invitational next weekend. It is an incredibly competitive meet that will feature sixty other teams, mostly from the Northeast.

“Pack running will be a little more difficult to do this weekend,” Nardelli said. “We want our runners to just focus on watching each other and working on catching the next person. Our top two (Marion and Kennedy) is very good at pacing themselves, so the rest of the team just has to worry not to lose sight of them.”

Colgate and Buffalo were the only two teams that had a realistic chance of winning on the men’s side. Although Colgate (36 points) took second to Buffalo (22 points), many quality performances were turned in, some of which were unexpected.

“The meet was a lot closer then the final score shows,” Men’s Head Coach Art McKinnon said. “With one mile left to go in the race, we were actually a point ahead of Buffalo.”

Sophomore Lyle Tolli continued his stellar running this season, placing second to Buffalo’s seasoned senior Dan Giza in a time of 26:25. Second in for Colgate was last week’s Patriot League Rookie of the Week Ed Sheridan, who was the top first-year runner in the race. He finished in fourth place with a stellar time of 26:48. Two other first-years, Grant Stauffer and Griffith Cannon turned in noteworthy performances by placing ninth and 10th respectively. The two are gradually developing into two of the Raiders’ stronger runners.Rounding out Colgate’s top five was senior Emmett Weatherford, who placed 11th with a time of 27:30.

“Both Stauffer and Cannon ran very tough and smart races,” McKinnon said. “They are both improving nicely and exceeding our expectations.”

Colgate will take a two week break from racing before competing at the Albany Invitational on October 13th. This meet will be Colgate’s first “big race” and a good opportunity to measure itself against top Patriot League competition.