The Slippery Rock men’s cross country team placed second at Lock Haven Invitational Saturday morning which took place at the West Branch Cross Country Course.
This course is also the site of the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regionals race that the Rock will compete in on Saturday, Nov. 7.
The men’s team finished second out of a total of sixteen teams. The team saw the most competition they’ve had all season at the invitational, including Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) teams Lock Haven and Millersville. Taking first was Lock Haven, with only 49 points. The Bald Eagle’s men’s team is currently ranked first in the Atlantic Region and is 11th on the Division II National poll.
The Slippery Rock men finished with 71 points, ranking fifth in the Atlantic Region. Following in third place was Penn State’s club team with 109 points. York placed fourth overall with 125 points and West Virginia Wesleyan rounded out the top five teams with 145 points.
“Our team is coming along well,” head coach John Papa said. “We have one month until the championship season and I believe we will be at our best then.”
Leading the pack was sophomore Jeremy Parsons. Parsons was the second collegiate runner to cross the finish line with a time of 25:51. Senior Theo Reynolds was the second Rock runner to cover the 8,000 meter course in 26:07, making him twelfth overall. Sophomore Jeff Henderson finished sixteenth overall with a time of 26:13. Seniors Steve Green and Charlie Frank were the Rock’s final scorers taking eighteenth and twenty second place. The men covered the course in 26:16 and 26:24. Senior Ryan Thompson and freshman Andrew Maxwell rounded out the top five Rock finishers taking forty fourth and fifty first with times of 26:49 and 27:01.
“Overall this race went pretty well individually and as a team. We have a solid group of runners all within seconds of each other,” said sophomore Jeff Henderson. “We’ll take a few things from this race that we can improve and work on for our upcoming races. With two weeks until our next race we have time to get some good workouts in. I’m very excited to see what we can do in our next race.”
The Green and White will take this weekend off and compete the following weekend at their home course, Cooper’s Lake Campground. This will be the last meet before the team races at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship meet.
The Rock will take their top ten men to compete Saturday, October 24th, 2015 at Cooper’s Lake Campground as SRU hosts the PSAC championship meet.