The men’s and women’s cross country teams came home from State College, Pa. with well-earned 10th and 11th place finishes in the Penn State National this weekend, a competition that hosted clubs as well as colleges, giving the team valuable experience for next month’s Atlantic 10 championships.
The men competed against 16 other teams at the Invite. Junior Dave Azari finished a strong race, placing 17th out of out of 175 runners. Freshman Lindsay Blum carried the team in the women’s race, finishing 72nd out of 211 runners.
“We were happy with our results at Penn State, especially because we were racing at a national level,” sophomore Mary Beth McCullough said.
Canadian invite Speed River TC won the men’s race led by first-place finisher Eric Gillis, followed by second-place West Virginia. The women’s race was topped by first-place Providence College, which finished more than 20 points ahead of second-place Villanova University.
GW’s second and third runners junior Darrell Andruski and senior David Talbird followed closely behind Azari. Andruski (27:06.03) finished the 5.2 mile race in 26th place and Talbird (27:25.19) finished 40th.
The top three Colonial runners finished in under 28 minutes, set by Azari’s pace of 26:50.92. The men compiled a total of 242 points after placing their first five runners 17th, 26th, 40th, 95th and 110th.
The women collected 351 total points, placing them 11th overall. Following Blum in the 6K race for GW was junior Emily Jadwin (23:52.43) in 81st place, McCullough (23:58.55) in 86th place and sophomore Erin Patton (24:05.51) in 94th place. Sophomore Trina Bolton (24:14.46) filled the fifth runner spot, coming in 102 overall.
These top runners from both the men’s and women’s teams had sat out last weekend’s George Mason Invite to conserve their strength for this race.
“The rest during the George Mason Invite enabled us to get in harder workouts before Penn State,” McCullough said.
The teams will go to College Park, Md. this Saturday for the Maryland Invitational, the final invite of the season before the A-10 Championships, which begin Nov. 2.