Cross country finishes season in stride

The Marquette men finished 8th and women finished 10th at the Big East Cross Country Championships hosted by Syracuse in Janesville, New York, on Saturday. The meet, ran poor conditions, featured multiple nationally ranked teams on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The Villanova women won the Big East Championship on the women’s side for the third year in a row. Syracuse repeated as champions on the men’s side.

“Overall, I thought we ran pretty well,” coach Mike Nelson said. “Seven of the women we ran in this race had actually never run in the conference championships before. So with that in mind, I think we did very well. I’m proud of the way we performed.”

Sophomore Carly Windt had a slightly different view of the race, however

“We were a little disappointed team-wise that we didn’t finish as high as we wanted to,” she said. “I thought we could have run better. We got separated as a group early on, and that didn’t help us.

“However, the Big East is an extremely tough conference, and I think that contributed a lot to the place we finished.”

Senior Olivia Johnson once again led the way for the Marquette women, finishing 47th with a time of 22:53.8. She was followed by Windt in 58th (23:10.2), junior Bekki Misanin in 62nd (23:25.5), freshman Grace Magliola in 65th (23:32.2) and senior Laurie Dalrymple in 66th (23:34.6).

The men ran an outstanding race on Saturday, despite finishing lower than they did last year. They had three runners place in the top 40, with their top two finishing 31st and 32nd with times of  26:16.6 and 26:18.7, respectively.

“The race went well as a team for us, but unfortunately it went better for other teams,” sophomore Jack Senefeld said. “I think that as much as anything contributed to our place. We saw six of the top 25 teams in the nation this weekend. Overall it was a good performance for us, it was just better for other teams.”

Nelson agreed with Senefeld. “We ran better than we did last year on the men’s side, unfortunately a lot of other teams ran better as well,” he said. “I think the biggest factor in the placing for that race was the fact that the Big East is just a monster right now, and that didn’t serve us well.

“Overall, I would have to say that they ran a great race. It was probably one of our better performances at that meet ever.”

The coach was also quick to single out a couple of runners on the men’s side who had especially good races.

“Bryce (Cleland) had a heck of a race this weekend,” Nelson said. “It was his best finish in that race ever. He is a heck of a leader, and this was his last Big East race, and he performed phenomenally. Jack Hackett also ran well. He has never finished in the top five for us and he earned his spot this week.”

Rounding out the top five for the Goleden Eagles were, junior Blake Johnson in 38th (26:30.2), junior Peter Bolgert in 44th (26:38.7), and Jack Hackett in 53rd (27:20.2).