The Rock men’s cross country team fought through the heat last Saturday at the Kutztown Division II/III Challenge. The Rock’s usual top finishers senior Jeremy Parsons and sophomore Jared Nelson did not finish the race, hurting the Rock’s overall team performance. Head coach John Papa explained that Parsons had to drop from the race because of a strained calf, which should only leave him out of competition for two to three weeks, while Nelson was unable to finish because of heat-related illness.
Sophomore Dan Janyska stepped up in the absence of Parsons and Nelson and was the Rock’s top finisher placing 59th with a time of 28:36 over the 8,000-meter course.
Junior Josh Rader was behind him in 72nd running a time of 29:09, and senior Jeff Henderson rounded out the top three finishing 87th with a time of 29:29. Junior Andrew Maxwell was the Rock’s fourth finisher coming in at 29:32 to finish 90th, and the scorers were capped out by freshman Tanner Schlater who finished 153rd with a time of 32:18. Jonathan Snyder was the last Rock runner coming in at 33:02 to finish 165th.
“We did not stack up very well against the other PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) team, the PSAC is very competitive and we don’t have the depth to be competitive if two of our top two guys do not finish,” Papa said. “The heat was a negative factor on everyone during the race.”
Papa hopes that with patience, the team will have everyone healthy and ready for the PSAC Championships in October.
The Rock is back in action this weekend at the LHU Invitational hosted by Lock Haven University. Lock Haven is also the host of the Mid Atlantic Regional Championships this year.