The Rock cross country teams competed at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational this past weekend with the men’s team placing sixth while the women’s team placed fourth. The meet featured runners from all three NCAA divisions as well as runners from the NAIA and junior colleges.
The men’s team put forth a strong performance after struggling with injury and illness for most of the season. The team was led by the return of senior Jeremy Parsons who placed fifth overall running a time of 26:19 over the 8,000-meter course, just 10 seconds back from race winner Dominic Stroh from Shippensburg University. Parsons had plenty of competition with five other runners expected to battle for the Pennsylvania State Athletic (PSAC) individual title in two weeks.
Sophomore Dan Janyska continued his strong season finishing less than a minute behind Parsons in a time of 27:14 for 24th place. Fellow sophomore Jared Nelson followed in 50th place with a time of 28:10. Junior Josh Rader was behind him at 55th in 28:18 and junior Andrew Maxwell capped the scorers at 65th 28:41. Freshman Tanner Schlater was The Rock’s last runner with a 153rd place finish in 31:57.
In the women’s race, The Rock was the second Division II team in the team standings behind Division I Duquesne and Pittsburgh, and Division II Shippensburg. Senior Courtney Group led the team covering the 5,000-meter course in 19:46 to place 24th overall. Fellow senior Caitlyn Janeda was just one second behind her in 19:47 to place 25th, just five seconds ahead of junior Sabrina Palmieri who finished in 19:51 to place 27th. With junior Madison Przicina behind them in 32nd in 20:04 and senior Matti Dunham in 46th in 20:20, The Rock had less than a minute gap between their scorers.
Freshman Juliet Ryan was 60th in 20:50 and sophomore Mikayla Banka was 61st with the same time to cap The Rock’s top seven runners.
Sophomore Hannah Kenawell was 69th in 21:01, Junior Paige Diehl was 71st in 21:02, and freshman Emily Johnson was 74th in 21:03 to round out the top 10.
This meet marked the end of the regular season for both Rock teams. Each teams’ top runners will break this weekend before competing at the PSAC Cross Country Championships October 21st at California University of Pennsylvania.