CHICOPEE, Mass. – It was another well-rounded performance by the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) cross country team, as a sixth-place run from freshman David Kavanaugh (West Hartford, Conn.) in the men's 8K catapulted the Blue Jays to a runner-up finish overall on the men's side, while the women were led by freshman Morgan Hall (Norfolk, Conn.) with a 16th place 6K result to lead her team to a fourth place finish Saturday afternoon in the Blazer Classic Invitational. The meet was hosted by Elms College and run at Chicopee Memorial State Park.
THE RUNDOWN - MEN
Division II powerhouse American International College (AIC) took home the first five spots in the men's 8K, and seven of the first eight, as senior Charlie Joslin-Allen took home the gold medal with a final time of 28:59.2. The only non-yellow-jacket in the top-eight was a Blue Jay, as Kavanaugh once again showed his natural ability to close out events, finishing an impressive sixth out of 53 runners in 29:46.4 (5:59 Mile Pace), just 45 seconds off the lead. Sophomore Ricky Elmer of Elms College and freshman John Mateo of Mitchell College rounded out the top-10.
AIC claimed the first-place team finish with a perfect score of 15 points. USJ took home second with 93 points, edging out Hampshire College, who rounded out the podium with 95. This was the second straight runner-up overall finish for the men's cross country team.
FOR THE BLUE JAYS
In addition to Kavanaugh's sixth-place run, freshman Max Morganstern (West Hartford, Conn.) finished a season-best 14th with a time of 32:30.4 (6:32 Mile Pace). Sophomore team captain Eric Knox (Bristol, Conn.) was third for the Blue Jays finishing in 22nd, with a 35:14.4 8K time (7:05 Mile Pace). USJ placed four of its five runners in the top-25.
THE RUNDOWN - WOMEN
AIC once again controlled the pace up front, as freshman Katie Olding took the 6K with a time of 26:02.7 in a 49-runner field. Junior Haley Sullivan of Bay Path was the highest non-AIC runner in the field, taking home the bottom spot off the podium after touring the course in 27:11.5. The Yellow Jackets took seven of the top-10 spots on the women's side (First, second, fourth, seventh-tenth), and took the overall with just 22 points. Hampshire College was second with 72 points, and Elms completed the women's podium with 84.
FOR THE BLUE JAYS
Freshman Morgan Hall (Norfolk, Conn.) topped the Blue Jays once again with a 16th place run, crossing the finish line in 30:13.8 (8:06 Mile Pace), about 45 seconds behind 10th place. A trio of Blue Jays flocked across the line next, as junior Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.) finished 20th (31:19.4, 8:24 Mile Pace), freshman Emily Wassick (Granby, Conn.) snagged 22nd (31:52.1, 8:33 Mile Pace), and junior Symantha Fazzino (Newington, Conn.) crossed the line 24th (32:31.3, 8:43 Mile Pace.). It was enough for a fourth-place finish in the overall (105 points) narrowly beating Bay Path (113) in fifth.
The USJ men's and women's cross country teams will be back in action, but this time on home soil, competing next Saturday, September 28 in the Blue Jay Invitational, on the campus of USJ. The action is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m.