The women’s cross-country team, currently ranked 15th in Division III, came in first place at the 31st annual Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University on Sunday. The men’s team, currently ranked 10th in Division III, took third place.
Over 75 collegiate teams from Divisions I, II and III competed in seven races. The women scored a total of 62 points, followed by Kutztown University with 68 points and Christopher Newport University with 101 points.
In the men’s race, ninth-ranked Haverford University scored 56 points, followed by Shippensburg University with 61 points and then the College with 93 points.
Lions junior Jenna Fasulo was the Lions’ top runner, taking sixth place in 23:04.5. For the men, senior Brian Donovan finished in second place after running 24:49.7, the fastest time ever by a Lion at the Paul Short Invitational.
“It was a good meet all around,” Fasulo said.
Donovan agreed. “It was a good race for the whole team,” he said.
Before the meet, head coach Tim Collins expressed his confidence in the team. “Senior Brian Donovan is in awesome shape and I expect him to have an incredible season,” he said. “For our girls, we have a very deep and talented pack.”
Regarding the pack, Fasulo said, “Our pack is really, really tight, so that is only going to push us to make us better throughout the season.”
Collins said the College has “a long tradition of qualifying for Nationals for both the men’s team and the women’s team,” he said. “Our goal is to peak at the end of the season and have our best races at that time, I expect our tradition to be upheld. As for stamina, every Sunday morning at 10 a.m., when most of the College is getting a few extra winks of shuteye, our athletes are running between 10 to 15 miles on hills. I feel pretty good about our stamina.”
“The end of the season is when it counts,” Donovan said. “I look forward to every run, every race. I felt nervous and excited before the race, but I just let the excitement take over. I’m just having fun.”
Collin’s encouraging words, “run smart first, run hard later” are paying off for the teams. The Lions will travel to the Haverford College Invitational next Tuesday.