The Slippery Rock University men’s cross-country team finished in second place at the Mack Cooper Classic held at Cooper’s Lake on Saturday, Oct. 11.
The men competed against ten teams, including some competitive teams among the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Shippensburg University took first with 25 points, and the Rock followed with 70 points.
Lock Haven University took third place with 84 points, California University of Pennsylvania placed fourth with 84 points, and the Penn State University club team rounded out the top five teams with 145 points.
Other teams in attendance included West Chester University, West Virginia University, Wheeling Jesuit University, the University of Pittsburgh club team and the University of Notre Dame.
“The men ran a good race today, but when we are all healthy and prepared I know we can run a better race,” SRU head coach John Papa. “I’m excited to see what the future brings for us.”
Aaron Dinzeo from Cal U took first place, covering the 8,000 kilometer course in 24:45. This time broke the course record of 24:51, which was set in 2008 by former Rock runner, Pat Reagan. Dinzeo placed second at the 2014 Cross Country PSAC meet last year. He also placed second at the 2014 NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Meet, where he is said to win this year.
Following in just over a minute was SRU freshman Jeremy Parsons with a time of 25:53, placing third overall and finishing first for SRU for the third consecutive time this season. Senior Theo Reynolds was the second rock runner to cross the finish line, finishing fourteenth with a time of 26:47. Senior Jaron Martin finished next for the team with a time of 27:03, rounding out the top twenty. Junior Steve Green followed behind finishing 22 with a time of 27:07, and Senior Tyler Melius took 32 place at 27:33.
Sophomore Ryan McGuire and freshman Jeff Henderson completed the top seven runners for the Green and White, finishing 38 overall at 27:45 and 46 overall at 28:02.
“Despite some of my teammates not having their best race, others stepped up and had a phenomenal performance this past Saturday on our home course,” senior Connor MacKelvey said. “We worked as a team constantly changing gears throughout the challenging Cooper’s Lake course and competed with the desire to beat others around us.”
The squad has high hopes for their conference race on Nov. 8, which will be held at Mansfield University.
“Looking ahead to PSAC’s in four weeks, our team definitely has the potential to finish in the top three places, as long as everyone stays healthy and continues to strive for a better body,” MacKelvey said. The Green and White are set to compete at Lock Haven University on Oct. 25 at the Go Fast River Run meet.