While the GW men’s cross country team had a repeat performance at the Atlantic 10 Championships, finishing fifth in the 11-team competition for the second year in a row, Darrell Andruski made some news, recording the fastest 8K time in GW history Saturday in Philadelphia.
Andruski was the first Colonial to cross the line with a time of 25:35, good enough for a sixth place finish. The junior runner said he was pleased with his accomplishment at the conference championships.
“(Breaking the record) has been a goal of mine since I got here, so it’s really nice to accomplish something that you have been planning to do,” he said.
Andruski has been the first Colonial finisher in all but one of the men’s races this season, highlighted by his second-place finish at the GW Invitational last month. With his sixth place A-10 finish, Andruski earned a spot on the All-Conference team and will advance to the NCAA regional competition next month.
“I’m looking forward to NCAAs, it’s always a favorite race of mine,” Andruski said.
The top seven runners from each team advance to NCAA Regionals Nov. 16. Joining Andruski will be junior Dave Azari (18th), senior David Talbird (38th), senior Matt Kascak (40th), freshman Phil Sherman (55th), sophomore Art Rowbotham (68) and senior Rob Wolcheski (72).
The top five finishers in the men’s race compiled a total of 157 points behind LaSalle’s near-perfect 19-point finish, led by Todd Witzelbon, who won the men’s race. GW’s fifth place finish tied the school’s highest A-10 finish in since the conference expanded from eight teams to 11, GW head coach Deb Cane said.
“We were hoping to improve from last year but we were happy to have a fifth-place finish,” Andruski said. “We came closer to fourth place than we did last year. I think we were all pretty happy with the performance overall.”
After Saturday’s meet, Cane said she was optimistic about her team’s chances at the NCAA Regionals and said the finishes are signs that the team will remain a strong core for years to come.
The women improved to ninth place after their 10th-place 2001 finish, led by freshman Lindsay Blum, who came in 25th out of 116 runners.
The women compiled a total of 200 points, missing eighth-place Massachusetts by only two points. While the women finished well behind first-place finisher La Salle, sophomore Mary Beth McCullough said the meet was still a success for the Colonials.
“Our goal for the season was to improve our place at the A-10s from last year, which we did on Saturday,” she said. “We would like to end on a high note at the NCAA Regionals so we’re confident and ready for next year.”
Blum finished the 5K course in 18:57, followed by McCullough (30th), sophomore Emily Jadwin (40th), sophomore Erin Patton (51st) and freshman Megan Dunn (55th). Those five, along with sophomore Trina Bolton (60) and freshman Olivia Schramm (67), will advance to NCAA’s.
As GW looks ahead to the NCAA Regionals and next season, McCullough said the Colonials are headed in the right direction.
“We have a fairly young team that is still building,” she said. “We are only going to get better from here.”
-Lauren Silva contributed to this report.