Not even the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto could stop a record braking day at the Harry Lang Invitational, hosted by Colgate last Friday. The Invitational, originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved up to Friday because of the rain forecasted for Saturday from the remnants of Ernesto.
“Adapting wasn’t easy, but we got a lot of great response and that made it work,” Men’s Cross Country Coach Art McKinnon said.
Despite the problems with weather, the Invitational featured impressive performances by both the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams, including a record breaking performance by senior Michael Hanlon in the Men’s 7800 meter event. Hanlon finished with a time of 25:53 in the event, setting a new record for the Harry Lang Invitational. He shattered the record previously held by Louie DiNuzzo (a former Colgate Raider), by 20 seconds. Hanlon’s record breaking time helped lead the Raiders to a second place finish overall in the 7800 meter event, behind only in-state rival Syracuse. Syracuse claimed victory due in large part to having three of their runners finish in the top five. Two other Raiders turned in impressive performances in the 7800 meter event. Senior Scott DeRoo finished sixth, while first year Bryan Kretschmer finished 11.
The men’s team also took third place overall in the 4200 meter event, behind Lafayette and Vermont. Lafayette took first place thanks in large part to a record breaking performance of their own by Alex Weschler, who set an invitational record with a time of 13:31. Senior John Gillespie recorded Colgate’s best finish in the event with an eighth place finish. With an impressive showing in their first contest of the year, the men’s cross country team looks ready to prove that they deserved more than a sixth place ranking in the Patriot League’s preseason poll.
The women’s team also had a strong showing in the Harry Lang Invitational. In the 6k event, the team turned in a third place finish. Navy won the event, and Syracuse just edged Colgate by three points for second place. The Raiders had two runners finish in the top six of the event. The best Colgate finisher was junior Elizabeth Kennedy, who finished fourth in the event with a time of 23:24. The women’s team also performed much better than their preseason rank would indicate, as they were picked just 7th in the league this preseason.
The team didn’t perform as well in the 4200 meter event though, finishing in sixth place. The event was won by Lafayette with Navy finishing a close second. The best Colgate finisher was promising first-year Emily Oliver, with a time of 18:13.
It wasn’t just a big day for Colgate however; it was a big day for the Patriot League in general.
“Three records fell, and all three were broken by runners from the Patriot League. It shows that Patriot League schools can compete against schools like Syracuse and Vermont,” McKinnon said.
The Invitational marked the first contest of the year for both squads. The next action for the men’s team is September 16 at the Oneonta Invitational, while the women will travel to the Binghamton Invitational on September 9.