Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Word From the Weiss

The Point Park cross country teams have quietly started their season very well thus far.

In his preseason interviews, head coach Jim Irvin said he believed the women’s team looked strong. He said if the team stayed healthy, it would be the program’s best team in the last 10 years. So far, the team has delivered on his promise.

In the Wooster Invitational 5K run held Aug. 29, the team’s top three runners Kelsey Wilkins, Katie Guarnaccia and Hanka Jiraskova placed seventh through ninth and finished less than 23 seconds apart. Ashley Czerniewski-Hagan and Katie Johnston also finished in the top 16 in the meet.

On Sept. 13, at the Penn State Behrend Invitational, the Pioneers placed third of 20 teams. Wilkins placed seventh with a time of 20:01.7 and an average mile time of 6:27. Despite this accomplishment, Wilkins lost out on the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Runner of the Week to a runner from Indiana University East.

The consistency continued this past weekend at the St. Vincent Invitational where the team finished second of 20 teams, behind only the University of Pittsburgh. This is a great accomplishment, but in a meet where Pitt had seven runners in the top-10, Guarnaccia placed 10th.

On the men’s side, the team has battled the injury bug throughout the season, but the results have improved as the season continues. 

The team is led by two-time KIAC Runner of the Week Eric Torres. 

Torres is a freshman from Robstown, TX who finished first in the 5k opening event, fourth in his first 8K and second this past weekend in another 8K, which he finished six seconds behind a Pitt runner. What Torres has done as a freshman is remarkable, and what’s even better is that his times are improving, which makes him even more dangerous.

While the team had four of its top six runners out for the Penn State Behrend Invitational, the Pioneers placed fourth of 16 teams this past weekend, which means the team is improving and if it can stay healthy, the team has a promising remainder of the season. Also among the top finishers this season is Heath Hougas who medaled and placed 13th at the St. Vincent Invitational and Zane Kravec.

Up next for both teams is the Lock Haven Invitational, on Saturday, where both teams will attempt to continue the momentum built. 

Irvin’s expectations for both teams are to have a good chance to get to nationals, and with the results and promise this season has provided, I believe that it definitely can be accomplished.

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