SRU places five in top 11
The Slippery Rock University men’s cross country team kicked off the 2013 season last Friday with a second place finish at the Mack Cooper Classic at Cooper’s Lake Campground.
Carnegie Mellon narrowly beat the Green and White’s 38 points by six points with 32.
Mercyhurst University placed third with 60 points, Wallace and Jefferson took fourth with 121 points, and Salem International came in fifth place with 133 points.
With their eyes focused on the next race, the Green and White will travel to Lock Haven University this weekend for the Lock Haven Invitational.
Head coach John Papa said the competition at Lock Haven will be much better than the competition at the Mack Cooper meet.
“I think the first race was a race for us to kind of get the rust off and I’m hoping they’re more competitive at Lock Haven,” Papa said. “Carnegie Mellon will be there again, and obviously Lock Haven is always good.”
On Friday, Rock XC alum Eric Geddis won the Mack Cooper 8K race as an unattached athlete with a time of 26:11.
All five scorers for Slippery Rock placed in the top 11 and nine runners finished in the top 18 of the race.
Junior Jaron Martin was the first Rock finisher to cross the line with a time of 26:43.76 to place fifth.
“Jaron did a great job on Friday,” Papa said. “He was our first runner at that meet last year too and he almost ran the same time.”
Junior Chris Grooms took eighth in 26:48.65 and senior Alex Koksal placed ninth with a time of 26:53.20.
Seniors Michael Beegle and Morgan Elliott capped off the scoring for SRU, placing 10th and 11th, with times of 26:53.61 and 26:54.32, respectively.
The lead pack was seperated by only 11 seconds.
Sophomore Ryan Thompson placed 15th, crossing the finish line in 27:05.09 and junior Theo Reynolds took 16th with a time of 27:08.70.
Lock Haven will also be the home of the Regional meet for the Green and White at the end of the season. The top three teams will qualify for the national meet. The course is very flat and is known to produce fast times.