By: Matt Stainbrook ~Guest Writer~
The Xavier men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to South Bend, Ind., where they competed in the National Catholic Invitational at University of Notre Dame.
The Musketeers faced off against Notre Dame, St. Louis University, University of Dayton, Marquette University and DePaul University, among other competitive schools.
The women finished third overall while the men ended up in ninth place.
For the women’s side, senior Audrey Ramos lead the team with an 11th place finish overall and a 5-kilometer race time of 18:16.
Freshmen Meghan Vogel (13th) and Allison Sinning (16th) also finished in the top 20 with times of 18:25 and 18:32, respectively.
Junior Sarah Mazzei (34th) and freshman Madeline Britton (37th) rounded out the XU team with times of 19:00 and 19:01.
On the men’s side, sophomore Aaron Peterson finished 25th to lead the team in a time of 25:52 in the 8-kilometer race.
Also finishing in the top 50, freshman Garret Knapik placed 40th with a time of 26:21.
Senior Cory Zielinski finished 52nd with a time of 26:36 while sophomores Grant Parrelli (53rd) and Avery Campbell (61st) finished out the top-five finishers for XU posting times of 26:43 and 26:52, respectively.
Head coach Ryan Orner noted that he gave his team an ambitious race plan to keep up with the top runners on the Notre Dame team.
“Unfortunately, the race went out very hard, and our girls came through the mile much faster than what they can handle at this point in the season,” Orner said.
Although he acknowledged great individual performances by some, Orner was overall not pleased with the men’s race results.
“They failed to execute the pre-race plan, had too large of a 1-5 split and didn’t place nearly where we should have been overall. There were some good individual performances but we didn’t perform well as a team,” Orner said.
Orner expects his team to yield better results if the Musketeers hope to be competitive as the sea son continues.
Both teams will split up in their next race on Oct. 3 with some participating in the All-Ohio Invitational and others in the Notre Dame Invitational.
A varsity squad of nine runners from both the men’s and women’s team with compete in the Notre Dame Invitational while a junior varsity team will compete in the All-Ohio Invitational, which will be held in Cederville, Ohio.
The separate teams have yet to be decided, and the runners will compete for the top spots as the meet approaches.