Cross country finishes last

The GW women’s cross country teams finished last out of 24 teams at the NCAA Regionals at Penn State University Saturday. The GW men ran without David Azari and Devin Kennington and did not have the five-man roster needed to compete as a team.

The meet allowed teams to qualify for an opportunity to contend in the National Cross Country Championships. Last year, GW did not have a full team to bring to the competition, so it did not finish with a team score.

This competition gave us the opportunity to see how we run compared to other runners from different schools all over the east coast, GW coach Jim Hopkins said.

The race was more challenging than any other race this season for GW because the distances increased for both the men and women. The men’s distance increased to 10,000 meters and the women’s distance increased to 6,000 meters, more than a 1,000-meter difference from normal distances.

The top women runners for GW were sophomore Jessica Gross, who finished 144th with a time of 25:18:50, and junior Eileen Kickish, who finished 157th with a time of 25:51:54. Senior Brande Dietrich placed 160th with a time of 26:08:12.

The top runners for the men’s team were sophomore David Talbird, who finished 104th with a time of 33:23:25, followed by Mike Donaldson who finished 123rd with a time of 33:51:13. Coming in 135th place was sophomore Matt Kascak (34:04:50).

We just didn’t run well, both men and women, Hopkins said. I’m disappointed and I know my team is disappointed. It was a quiet bus ride back. But, we have one more meet to go and it is important to finish the season on a good note.

The cross country team’s last meet is this Saturday at the ECAC Championships at Bronx, N.Y. This will be the last chance for top seniors Dietrich, Erin Farelly and Mike Donaldson to run for GW.

I know that my team can run better, Hopkins said.

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