Boro harriers wrap up regular season

Contributed Photo: Sports Information
Matt Link was the top finisher from Edinboro at Friday’s Wisconsin Adidas Invite.
Championships loom for squad

By Charles Ivey
Staff Writer/Spectator

It has been a competitive season full of battles for the Edinboro cross country teams as they ran towards their goals and against some stiff competition every time they went out.

Friday the 6th-annual Wisconsin Adidas Invitational at the Thomas Zimmer Cross Country Course was arguably the toughest test of them all.

“Wisconsin Adidas was one of the best division I meets in the country this year,” said head men’s and women’s cross country coach, Rick Hammer. “I believe there was a total of 22 nationally ranked women teams and 18 nationally ranked men teams there too.”

No team scores were kept in the open race, but several Lady Scots left their mark on the 6K course.

Junior Kasey Jones led the team as she took 34th out of 111 runners with a time of 21:55, holding a 5:53 mile pace while doing so.

“Kasey did really good,” Hammer admitted in a phone interview on Saturday. “She got out there and really we went to this bigger meet so our top end athletes can really get tested. I mean this is the closest we can get to national championship competition.”

Stanford’s Vanessa Fraser took first place with a time of 20:56 and New Mexico’s Nicole Roberts time of 21:03 earned her second.

The second Lady Scot to come across the line was Emily Ahrens taking 60th with a time of 22:21.

“Emily continues to develop really nicely. She had an injury during the track season and she has been putting in a lot of solid training,” mentioned Hammer.

He continued, “It’s not like basketball when you can take three months off and still shoot fairly well. You have to be consistently putting in the work over long periods of time in order to really see the results. It’s a good year to get that right going into the championship part of our season.”

Other Scots to finish were Anna Hosl 71st (22:34), Megan Maffett 84th (23:04), Emma Sullivan 98th (23:28) and Kaitlyn Daubert took 111th (26:30).

The Edinboro men’s team also ran the open race with 85 other runners, most coming from Division I schools.

Matt Link was the first Fighting Scot to cross the line claiming 20th with a time of 25:09, averaging a pace of 5:04 per mile over the 8K course. Elliott Martynkiewicz was the second Scot to finish taking 29th with a time of 25:28.

Hammer was happy with the pair.

“We went there really to test our top level guys. I think Matt and Elliott really came through. That’s the kind of competition they will face in Division II nationals. They can run that race both physically and mentally with that level of competition now I think they are in a very good place as we head into the championship form.”

Joel Hubbard of Syracuse won the open race with a time of 24:24. Brigham Young University’s Jonathan Harper claimed second with a time of 24.39.

Corey Wefing was the third Boro harrier to cross the line, finishing the course in 25:57 taking 50th in the process.

Other Scots to finish of the men side were, Logan Kempney 62nd (26:16), Jon Gusew 66th (26:25), Tim McConnell 79th (27:15), Michael Koch 82nd (29:35) and Matt Fuller 85th (29:35).

One runner really stood out to Hammer on the men’s side.

“One guy I really want to single out is Jon Gusew. He was our fifth man, really ran a great race. I know that was a personal best for him in less than ideal conditions. He was certainly outside of his comfort zone racing the entire 8K against guys that he probably read about online. He really rose to the occasion and raced well on that pretty windy day.

“The temperature was perfect, but it was pretty windy and for them to run as fast as they did in less than ideal weather on a much more challenging course than Louisville [was great]. I actually think we are in a really good spot. If we continue to progress our training and keep everyone healthy its going be a very good end to the season for us come December.”

After wrapping up the regular season against multiple nationally ranked teams, Hammer believes his teams should have no fear.

“After racing this weekend there is nothing that should scare us even at the conference, regional or even the national level. They’ve seen the biggest meet in the country and been a part of it.” 

Next for Edinboro is the postseason, which begins on Nov. 8 at Mansfield University for the PSAC championships. Following that is the Atlantic Regional meet at Slippery Rock on Nov. 22.

Charles Ivey is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached by sports.spectator@gmail.com