The Slippery Rock men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted their one and only meet this semester at the Lawerence County Fairgrounds Saturday.
The men were led by redshirt junior John Marenkovic, who won the individual title in 26:34, as they placed first with 24 points to win the team title. The women’s team placed second with 50 points as senior Kacey Raible finished third in 23:06.
SRU head coach John Papa discussed how the performances this weekend will transition into the Pennslyvania State Athlete Conference (PSAC) championships this weekend at Bloomsburg University.
“I think that it was positive for us,” Papa said. “We are going to see some much better teams at the PSAC Championships, however, there were a couple of teams like Seton Hill and Mercyhurst who will be there as well.”
Following Marenkovic was sophomore Noah Yake who placed fourth in 27:18. He just edged out fellow sophomore Benjamin Buckless who placed fifth in 27:26.
For the women, sophomore Lexie Firment was the second Rock finisher as she placed eighth in 23:45. Behind her was junior Juliet Ryan, who placed 12th in 24:25. Papa felt that simliary to the men, the women placing second was positive and this was good preparation.
“Seton Hill is one of the top teams in the conference, and they beat us, so we think we can give them a better run in at PSAC,” Papa said.
Finishing out the scoring for the men were freshman Ethan Brentham and Nathan Eadie. Brentham placed sixth in 27:37 and Eadie placed eighth in 28:21 who finished in 28:21.
For the women, senior Emily Johnson and sophomore Annie Nunley closed out the scoring as Johnson finished 13th in 24:37 and Nunley finished behind her in 14th in 24:54.
Looking at the PSAC championship, Papa commended Seton Hill, as they are a good team. Papa also said that even placing inside the top six might be a challenge because there are so many good teams in the conference.
“We are hoping to be among the top five or six in the conference. After that, it’ll take a tremendous effort but who knows we could even move up [to the] top three or so,” Papa said.
The men’s and women’s team will have a week off before the PSAC Championships at Bloomsburg University on Friday, Oct. 25th.