The men’s and women’s cross country teams had a successful trip to Haverford, Pa., at the Mainline Invitational on Sept. 23, as senior Martine McGrath struck gold in the women’s three-mile race, leading a parade of Lions who cracked the top 10 for both squads.
Teams from Swarthmore College, Haverford College, Villanova University and Bryn Mawr College competed at the small-scale, non-scored meet.
“We don’t always need to compete in a ‘hyped-up’ atmosphere,” said head coach Phil Jennings. “Both teams definitely improved from the Princeton meet, which shows that we are taking a step in the right direction.”
The defending gold medalist in the three-mile contest, McGrath didn’t disappoint as she captured first place once again, in a time of 17:43.11, outlasting the field of 66.
“It was a good confidence booster for races to come,” McGrath said.
Following the pace set by McGrath, senior Stephanie Herrick crossed the finish line in a time of 17:52.81, claiming second place.
Junior Michelle Wallace did not stray too far from the leaders, placing fourth (18:11.31). Juniors Megan Donovan (11th place, 18:51.03) and Nicole Ullmeyer (15th place, 19:03.67) rounded out the squad’s top five.
The Lions had six competitors finish in the top 20, including senior Sara Best, who came in just behind Ullmeyer (16th place, 19:07.97).
As for the male harriers, senior captain Chris Guerriero finished 10th out of 97 runners, pacing the Lions throughout the four-mile race in 20:23.91.
Sophomore TJ Bocchino was a breath behind Guerriero, picking up 11th place in 20:25.25.
Freshman Alex Yersak continued to prove himself as a strong competitor, finishing in 23rd place (20:51.89).
Junior Brandon Rodkewitz (35th place, 21:15.83) and sophomore Dennis Waite (37th place, 21:18.19) completed the Lions’ top five.
“The younger guys on the team are such hard-working guys,” Guerriero said. “You can clearly tell their attitudes are going to reflect our performances.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams are scheduled to race Friday at the Paul Short Invitational. The event will be hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.