PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST cross country season is three weeks old and six Athletes of the Week have already been honored. Five different schools have been represented in the six awards, including DePaul, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville and Notre Dame. After a busy first few weeks, the cross country schedule lets up this weekend with only four teams in action. The BIG EAST Cross Country Championship will be held Oct. 30 at Jamesville County Beach Park in Jamesville, N.Y., hosted by Syracuse.
Cincinnati: The Cincinnati men’s and women’s teams both competed at the Iona Meet of Champions on Sept. 18. Junior Eric Finan led the men’s side, finishing first of 207 runners. Finan finished the 8K race in a time of 24:48.45 to win the individual title at the Meet of Champions for the second consecutive year. The victory also helped the New Richmond, Ohio, native capture the BIG EAST men’s cross country Athlete of the Week award. The Bearcats went on to finish 11th as a team with 237 points.
The women finished ninth at the meet, led by senior Lilian Jelimo, who finished the 6K race in 22:30.50. Jelimo finished 13th individually, while senior Michele McKenney took 30th with a time of 23:05.
Both teams are in action on Oct. 1 at the All-Ohio meet in Cedarville, Ohio.
Connecticut: The Connecticut men’s team placed second at the UMass Invitational, making it the first time since 2006 that the Huskies have finished in the top two in each of their first two meets of the season. The Huskies finished with four top-10 runners, the most of any team at the meet. Sophomore Ryan McGuire was the high finisher, placing sixth with a time of 25:53 in the 8k race.
The men’s team next competes Sept. 25 at the Ted Owens Invitational at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, Conn.
The women’s side was off last weekend, but will compete in a pair of races on Sept. 25. One group of runners will head to the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., where the Huskies placed sixth of 18 teams last year. Another group will head to the Central Connecticut State University Invitational in New Britain, Conn.
DePaul: The DePaul men’s and women’s teams raced in the 31st annual National Catholic Invitational on Sept. 17. The men’s side finished in sixth place overall. Junior Matthew Graham finished third individually with a time of 24:28 in the 8k race to lead all DePaul runners.
The women finished fourth as a team, with two runners placing in the top 20. Junior Toni Salvatore was the top finisher, taking sixth with a time of 17:59 in the 5k race. It was the first time in her collegiate career that Salvatore has broken the 18-minute mark in a 5k.
Both teams will next compete on Oct. 2 at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational in Chicago, Ill.
Georgetown: Georgetown men’s and women’s squads did not compete last weekend. Both teams will next race at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., hosted by Lehigh University on Oct. 1. Currently, the women rank No. 6 and the men rank No. 25 in the USTFCCCA national poll.
Louisville:Louisville competed in the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Mary. on Sept. 18. Led by junior Matt Hughes, the men’s side took second-place in the team standings. Hughes covered the course in 24:02.11 to take second individually. The Cardinals scored 38 points, just three points shy of first-place Navy.
Senior Kim Grieshaber led the women’s side with a second-place individual finish in the 6k race. Grieshaber finished with a time of 22:00.3, the sixth-best all-time among women at the USNA Golf Club. The Cardinals finished fifth in the team standings.
The Cardinals will rest for two weeks before returning to action in the Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 2 at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.
Marquette: The Marquette men’s team recorded a second-place finish at the National Catholic Invitational on Sept. 17. Sophomore Jack Senefeld led the Golden Eagle men with a seventh-place finish in 24:59. Senior Olivia Johnson led the women’s side to a third-place finish. Johnson navigated the course in 18:02, good for a seventh-place individual finish.
Both teams will compete next at the Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 2 in Madison, Wis., while a few of the athletes will go to the Carthage College Invite.
Notre Dame: Notre Dame hosted the 31st annual National Catholic Invitational on Sept. 17. Both the men and women grabbed first place of the 35 teams competing. The men have now won 21 team titles and 19 individual titles in the 31 years of the meet. The women have won 17 team titles and eight in the past ten years.
The 26th-ranked women were led by BIG EAST female cross country Athlete of the Week Meg Ryan. The freshman finished first with a time of 17:37, edging out Dayton’s Maura Bulgrin who finished just one second behind. It was Ryan’s first collegiate win.
The teams will next be in action on Oct. 2 when they host the Notre Dame Invitational.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers competed in a tri-meet with Bucknell and Duquesne at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh on Sept. 18. Both teams went on to finish third at the meet. Senior Teddy Miller highlighted the day on the men’s side, finishing third individually with a time of 25:32 in the 8k race. Freshman Elesia Wilson was the top finisher for the women, taking 19th individually in the 5k race with a time of 19:25.
Neither team will compete this weekend, but both return to action on Oct. 1 at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.
Providence: Neither of the Friars’ teams competed last weekend. The 14th-ranked women will be in action Sept. 25 at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. The men’s side, ranked No. 19, is off until Oct. 2 when the Friars travel to Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin/adidas Invitational.
Rutgers:The Rutgers women won the 16th annual Monmouth Invitational at Holmdel Park in Holmdel, N.J. Six Scarlet Knights finished in the top 12 and nine completed the 5k race in the top 20 of the 113 competitors. Freshman Brianna Deming finished third overall, followed by junior Kelly Flannigan in fourth. The women will be in action on Oct. 1 at the Paul Short Invitational.
On the men’s side, the Scarlet Knights finished fourth at the Monmouth Invitational. Senior Kevin Cronin led the Rutgers charge with a fourth-place finish individually, followed by classmate Nick Miehe who finished sixth. The men will be back in action on Oct. 8 for the Metropolitan Championships.
St. John’s:St. John’s finished second at the C.W. Post Invite in Brookville, N.Y., on Sept. 18. Junior Samantha Meyerhoff was the top Red Storm finisher for the second straight meet, running the 5k race in 18:57. The Red Storm placed four runners in the top 10, but lost to Fordham by just one point. St. John’s will next compete at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., on Oct. 1.
Seton Hall: Seton Hall ran at the Delaware Invitational on Sept. 18, with both the men’s and women’s teams placing fourth overall. Freshman Cory Johnston led the men’s side by finishing 13th individually with a time of 19:26. Sophomore Hughnique Rolle led the way for the women, recording a time of 15:44 to finish 18th individually. The Pirates will travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., this weekend for the Asics Embry-Riddle Classic on Sept. 25.
USF: The USF men’s and women’s teams both were in action at the Mountain Dew Invitational, hosted by the University of Florida on Sept. 18. The women’s team had an impressive third-place finish while the men took eighth with 208 points.
Junior Nicole Rozario led the women with a personal best time of 17:37.27, placing third individually. Senior Pedro Carela was the top men’s finisher, also registering a personal best time of 25:46.29 to place 14th individually.
Both teams are in action on Oct. 1 at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.
Syracuse: Senior Steve Murdock finished first individually in the men’s 8k race at the Colgate Invitational on Sept. 18. Murdock finished with a time of 25:27 to help Syracuse to a first-place finish at the meet. The Orange placed seven runners in the top 10 of the 45 competitors. The men are currently ranked first in the Northeast Region according to the USTFCCCA and ninth nationally.
The Syracuse women also finished first at the Colgate Invitational, winning the meet for the second straight year. Junior Lauren Penney finished second I the women’s 6k race with a time of 21:36.00. Five Syracuse runners finished in the top 10 of the 59 competitors. According to the USTFCCCA, the Orange are ranked first in the Northeast Region and 10th nationally.
Next up for the men’s and women’s teams will be the Wisconsin/adidas Interregional meet on Oct. 2. Last year, the men placed first while the women took second in the meet.
Villanova: The Villanova women’s cross country team opens its season at the Main Line Invitational on Sept. 23. The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in the country to start the year, and begin with a three-mile race on the Alumni Course at nearby Haverford College. Nine members will be in competition including three returning all-Americans from last year’s national championship race. The trio includes seniors Amanda Marino and Ali Smith, as well as junior Bogdana Mimic.
The 14th-ranked men’s team will also be in action at the Main Line Invitational, preparing for a four-mile race. The entire team will race for the Wildcats in the first competition of the year, including four runners who were part of the team's contingent at last year's NCAA Championships. Those four top returnees include all-American Mathew Mildenhall, as well as seniors Hugo Beamish, Matthew Gibney and Carl Mackenzie.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers did not compete last weekend, but will next compete at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 1. West Virginia is ranked No. 16 nationally.