Men’s and women’s cross country compete at the GW Invitational

The men’s cross country team, led by sophomore David Talbird, finished fifth Friday at the GW Invitational in Centreville, Va., behind leaders Miami University of Ohio and the University of Virginia.

Talbird placed ninth out of 126 runners with a time of 25:53.35, crossing the finish line just one minute behind the winner, Virginia’s Bobby Thiele.

GW’s Darrell Andruski finished in 12th place with a time of 25:54.59. Coach Jim Hopkins said the men’s team ran well against tough competition.

Everyone won’t run a (personal record) every weekend, Hopkins said. We lost to some pretty good teams but we can run a lot better.

Hopkins said he has been impressed with Andruski, who has stepped up to become one of GW’s top runners in only his freshman year.

Meanwhile, sophomore Mackenzie Jessen led the GW women’s team to a 12th place finish at the race, which Virginia won. Jessen finished the 5,000-meter course in 20:19.94, putting her 49th out of 97 participants.

We have three people running very well, but we need more of the girls to run better, Hopkins said. Not just Mackenzie (Jessen), Jenee (Petersen) and Brande (Dietrich).

Peterson finished 51st with a time of 20:22.18, while Dietrich placed 54th with a time of 20:28.26. The top finisher was Virginia’s Sarah Folse (17:44.88).

The team will have strenuous practices this week in preparation not only for this weekend’s race at the University of Richmond, but for the upcoming George Mason Invitational and the Atlantic 10 Championships. Hopkins said he believes GW has what it takes physically to do well at A-10s, but said the team needs work in another area.

For A-10s, we need to be mentally tough, Hopkins said. It’s all about handling pressure. You don’t know what’s going to happen on race day.

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