The Slippery Rock University men’s cross country team finished in sixth place at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference meet last weekend on Mansfield University’s home course at Lamb Creek.
A total of fifteen teams competed, with SRU placing sixth with 138 points. Lock Haven University took home the title with an impressive 38 points. Shippensburg followed behind in second place with 58 points. Edinboro University completed the top three teams with a total of 86 points. Indiana and California rounded out the top five teams with 101 and 123 points. The remaining top ten spots included SRU, East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, West Chester and Bloomsburg.
“I thought we had a good team effort,” SRU senior Jaron Martin said. “I don’t think we finished as well as we were capable but overall most of us had one of our best races of the season. The championship races always bring out the best in everyone.”
Senior Aaron Dinzeo from California University, the winner of the past two meets SRU has competed in, took home the individual PSAC champion title with a time of 24:18. SRU’s front runner, freshman Jeremy Parsons, placed 21 and covered the eight kilometer course in 25:29. Following close behind was Martin in 26 place at 25:43. The conference honored the top fifteen runners with first team All-PSAC honors and sixteen through thirty were honored with second team All-PSAC honors. Both men earned second team honors at the meet. Seniors Tyler Melius and Theo Reynolds ran a close race placing 31st and 32nd at 25:52 and 25:55.
The top seven was rounded out by junior Steve Green in 36 place, sophomore Ryan McGuire in 49 place and freshman Jeff Henderson at 58 place. The remaining Rock runners included juniors Charlie Frank and Ryan Thompson and sophomore Tyler Palenchak.
“Overall the men did a nice job, and ran very close to their capability as a team,” SRU head coach John Papa said. “We were beat by a lot of good teams in the conference.”
The final race of the season will be the Division II Atlantic Regional meet held on SRU’s home course at Cooper’s Lake. Each team will only bring seven runners to compete. At this race, the men will run a 10 kilometer course instead of the usual eight kilometer race. The top three teams at this meet will advance to the national meet.
“We’re looking forward to racing again and moving up in this field of runners at the regional meet at Cooper’s Lake,” Martin said. “We think our strength will benefit us more on the longer, more challenging course.”
The Green and White will run their final race of the season at home on Nov. 22.