Cross country races in first meet of year

Written By Ben Reinke, For The Globe

Last Saturday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to compete in the Bethany Invitational in West Virginia. Both teams put up a top-ten performance, placing 8th and 4th, respectively. 

On the men’s side, senior captain Xavier Stephens finished the 8,000-km race with a time of 27 minutes and 27 seconds, placing 14th overall. 

Following Stephens was sophomore Brody Carlin in 30th, senior Bryan Gutierrez in 38th, senior Carlos Polanco in 40th, sophomore Doug Kostelansky in 51st, freshman Treven Carter in 67th and junior Dylan Allen in 70th. 

“It was a bit of a tougher course,” Stephens said. “Personally, I think I could’ve done better.” 

Leading the herd for the women’s team was sophomore Alyssa Campbell, finishing 3rd overall. 

Finishing behind Campbell was junior Alyssa Boyd in 11th, junior Reba Bartram in 16th, sophomore Alyssa Frausto in 31st, junior Alex Barr in 46th, freshman Natalia Zucco in 50th, and rounding out things on the women’s side was freshman Camilla Cortez in 77th.

“Overall, we are happy with how we did,” Campbell said. 

Each of the women were able to finish in or under 27 minutes and 40 seconds, taking fourth place out of the 18 teams participating. 

“We wanted to beat Waynesburg, who placed second overall,” Campbell said. “So that’s going to motivate us to do better in the future since we were so close to them.”  

Head coach Jim Spisak is proud of how both teams performed, especially because the women’s team raced six kilometers, as opposed to the usual five.

“From where they are in training, they performed well,” Spisak said. “For some of the younger runners, it was their first time racing this distance, and it’s the first time back for some of our older runners.”

“This should be our worst performance of the year,” Spisak said, explaining that the team should improve at every meet as the season progresses. 

In less than two weeks, both teams will travel to the Lock Haven Invitational on Sept. 21.