The GW men’s and women’s cross country teams finished in the middle of a large pack at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Championships Friday at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, N.Y.
The men’s team finished 15th out of 29 teams, while the women finished 15th out of 26. GW head coach Jim Hopkins said he put some of the blame on himself for the fact that neither team lived up to its expectations.
“We just had a lousy day. No one really ran exceptionally well,” Hopkins said. “The saying goes if one guy runs bad, it’s probably their fault. If everybody runs bad, it’s probably the coach’s fault.”
The Colonial women, who won the ECACs last year, finished with 356 points, well behind first-place Cornell University’s 90 points. GW was led by senior Amanda Roebel, who finished 23rd with a time of 19:28.30, a minute behind the winning runner from St. John’s University in the 5,000-meter race. Julie Ann Laurence finished 42nd with a time of 19:46.50, and Lisa Faia finished 56th.
The GW women had hoped to build on their success from last year’s race and were disappointed with the results, Roebel said.
“I guess we have a lot of new runners and they were not prepared for such a big race,” Roebel said. “I think we were a little tired going into it too.” Hopkins agreed, adding he might have run his teams too hard before ECACs.
The men fared much the same as the women. The GW harriers scored 351 points. Meet winner St. Francis College (Pa.) finished with 61 points. Junior Jeff McCarthy was GW’s top finisher in 22nd place with a time of 26:25.30 in the five-mile race. Chris Peterson finished in 58th for GW, while Geoff Craig finished 82nd.
“Dan (Uriano) and Chris (Peterson) and I have been running together in the last couple of meets,” McCarthy said. “I was disappointed that those two weren’t right with me. We all raced below our abilities.”
Hopkins said he believes the team will recover from this meet and perform well at the Atlantic 10 Championships Oct. 31.
“We all left scratching our heads and trying to come up with answers,” he said. “I think they know they’re in good shape and they’ve done the right things and that we just had a bad day. I think it’s just a matter of believing in themselves and getting some confidence.”