The Slippery Rock University men’s cross country team took sixth place in their final race of the season last Saturday at the Division II Atlantic Regional race.
The race was on SRU’s home course at Cooper’s Lake Campground.
“The men had a good effort on Saturday and some of them had a great end to their season,” SRU head coach John Papa said. “The weather conditions were the same for everyone and we pushed through with the best of our ability.”
The biggest factor for all teams at the meet was the cold temperatures and freezing rain that began just as the men’s race was starting. With ice and mud covering nearly the entire course, the runners had a challenging run ahead.
Three conferences in the region attended the race, including teams from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Mountain East Conference and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The 22 teams competed raced on the 10K course in hopes of advancing to the NCAA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky on Dec. 6. Teams from Lock Haven, Shippensburg and Edinboro will all advance to Nationals, as well as the top three runners that were not a part of the qualifying teams.
The teams scored 36, 63 and 81 points to be the top three teams at the race.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania and SRU followed behind with 113, 122 and 138 points. West Chester University, Kutztown University, Wheeling Jesuit University and East Stroudsburg University rounded out the top 10 teams. California’s Aaron Dinzeo was the champion of the race with a time of 31:49.8. Shippensburg’s Brayden Burleigh followed on Dinzeo’s heels finishing in 31:50.2.
The Rock’s front runners included freshman Jeremy Parsons and senior Jaron Martin in 14 and 17 place with times of 32:57 and 33:01 respectively. Both received All-Region honors for placing in the top 25. Senior Tyler Melius, sophomore Ryan McGuire and junior Steve Green rounded out the top five Rock runners with 27, 40 and 42 place with times of 33:35, 34:29 and 34:33 respectively. Senior Theo Reynolds and freshman Jeff Henderson, placing 49 and 63, concluded the seven runners who competed at the race.
“I definitely think that the men had a good race, but I also think that we as a team had a lot more potential that we didn’t show this season,” sophomore Ryan McGuire said. “Overall, this was a great season and I’m proud of what we accomplished.”