Slippery Rock men’s cross country put up an elite performance at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships meet in Bloomsburg, Pa. last Saturday but could not top Shippensburg University’s unreal showing.
The Rock recorded a more than respectable 65-point total and was one of the two teams to finish with a double-digit point total. The White and Green was also the only squad outside of Shippensburg to place multiple athletes within the top 10.
The Raiders’ final score of 26 beat out SRU by 39 points.
Ethan Brentham was SRU’s highest-placing athlete. The senior’s 26:08 time at the 8,000-meter course was good for third place.
He also received the Men’s Cross Country Champion Scholar for his perfect grade point average through 143 credits while studying for a degree in Health and Physical Education.
Brentham’s highly-rated time comes as no surprise. He was also a top 10 finisher in last year’s PSAC finals.
The same goes for Joey Cintavey; the junior’s 26:24 time put him in sixth place. Last year, he put up a comparable performance with time that put him ten spots back at sixteenth.
Brentham and Cintavey’s combined improvement of 15 spots played a large role in The Rock’s second-place finish.
Troy Hart continued his great year with another strong showing, placing seventh after completing the 8K in 26:24.
The trio of Brentham, Cintavey and Hart all finished in under 27 minutes. Just 14 runners out of 146 were able to accomplish this feat at Bloomsburg’s campus XC course.
Devon Navaroli and Michael Novak rounded out Slippery Rock’s scoring runners. The two placed 20th and 29th with times of 27:12 and 27:31 respectively.
All five of the White and Green’s scoring runners claimed All-PSAC team spots. Brentham, Cintavey and Hart made the first team while Navaroli and Novak were named to the second team.
The Rock might have had a shot at first place if not for Shippensburg’s domination of the event. The Raiders placed an absurd four runners in the top five, with their last scoring athlete finishing 14th.
Shippensburg’s Garret Quinan finished first and was the only runner with a time under 26 minutes. He would have three teammates cross the finish line within the next 22 seconds.
Indiana University (Pa.), East Stroudsburg University and California University (Pa.) rounded out the top five at the Championships.
This Rock has now placed top three in back-to-back years and top five in three straight years. 2023 marks SRU’s highest team placement since 2008’s team also finished second.
Slippery Rock men’s cross country will now shift its focus to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Atlantic Region Championships taking place November 4 at 11:45 a.m. The course for this next round of championships will be Lock Haven, Pa.’s West Branch Course.