After a wonderful performance at the National Catholic Invitational at Notre Dame, the Siena Cross Country team is off to an astounding start. In their most recent meet, out of eleven schools, the men’s squad finished third, and the women’s came in fourth. Riding off good individual performances from their first two meets, the men’s team entered this meet with the intention of being a top-three team, which they accomplished.
Highlighting this performance from the men’s team are senior Evans Kibet, who finished seventh overall with a time of 25:12.06, a time which ranks 11th overall in program history. In addition, Kibet was named MAAC Male Runner of the Week as a result of his performance. The second-place finisher for the Saints was junior Stosh Davis, who came in 16th and put up a time of 25:38.11. The Saints also had two more runners finish within the top 30, senior William Randell in 25th with a time of 25:58.23, and Michael Rautter in 28th with a time of 26:03.54.
The women’s squad was led by senior Sarah Forman, coming in 14th out of a total of 203 runners, with a time of 18:13.85. Five spots later junior Sydney Johnson came in 19th, putting up a personal record of 18:25.20. One more Saint finished in the top 30, freshman Olivia Lomascolo came in 27th and put up a time of 18:38.64. In the Women’s Open 5K, three Saints finished in the top 30: freshman Allison Hill, senior Meghan McDonough, and freshman Hannah Gallagher. Out of these three, both Hill and Gallagher set personal records.
Friday’s performance in South Bend wasn’t the only time this season the Saints have shown signs of finishing well at the MAAC Championships. In their first meet at the Marist Invitational, the women’s team finished second out of six teams, with three runners coming in the top 20, and Sydney Johnson recording the sixth highest time in program history. At the Siena Invitational, Olivia Lomascolo set the school record for the fastest finish time by a freshman and finished close to Johnson’s record with the program’s ninth fastest overall time.
After the Invitational at Notre Dame, head coach John Kenworthy put his team in good perspective for the rest of the upcoming season: “The men came in with intentions of being a top-three team, and we accomplished that goal. The women we had more uncertainty as far as a team finish goal coming in, but we knew what we needed to do individually and getting fourth is a great result. Going toe to toe with some big-time programs certainly sets the tone for our season.”
Being able to compete head-to-head with big programs such as Creighton, DePaul and St. Mary’s gives much promise to the Saints, as they move forth in their season with the Lehigh Paul Short Run coming up at the end of September. However, the Saints have something nice to look forward to as they host this year’s MAAC Cross Country Championships here in Loudonville. This is the first time ever that this event is being held here in Loudonville, and a home track advantage for the Saints could be just what they need to propel themselves to even further heights. With the times being set by our current runners, and the amount of energy and motivation that their coach has for their team, hopefully, we can expect to see very promising results from the Saints as they finish their season.