Men’s cross country takes second in Watts Invitational

By Tyler Trumbauer
Sports Editor

Home field or home court advantage is usually an element that nearly every athlete or sporting team would love to possess, especially in the first contest of the season. 

However, Edinboro’s Matt Link begs to differ. 

The senior member of the Fighting Scots men’s cross country team finished third in last Saturday’s Doug Watts Open Invitational with a time of 25:40, a finish most would be content with. 

“I have a lot of pride in Edinboro,” Link said. “I have a lot of pride coming on my home course and I don’t want to lose on my own course.” 

The two runners that Link did lose to were runners from Ashland University. Both Brian Baum, the first place finisher, and Nick Hall, who took second, finished with times of 25:32. 

That 1-2 punch from Baum and Hall, combined with two other Ashland representatives who finished in the top ten, earned the Eagles 29 points, good enough to take the team title at the first annual event held at the Doug Watts Cross Country Course. 

Edinboro finished second in the team competition with 40 points. Junior Elliot Martynkiewicz (26:07) finished sixth overall, junior Logan Kempney (26:16) finished seventh, and freshman Corey Wefing (26:51) took ninth, all of whom contributed to the team score. Also, Jon Gusew’s, Tim McConnell’s and Michael Koch’s placings factored into the team total. As a squad, the Fighting Scots had an average finish of 26:25. 

Oberlin College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Thiel College as well as Bethany College competed on the wet course under the overcast skies. There were also runners from Penn State DuBois and the Community College of Allegheny County competing individually. 

Despite Link’s motivation to win at home, he was still happy with how the entire men’s team fared. 

“I was really happy with how the guys ran as a group,” said Link. “The freshmen ran real tough today. It was a wet course and they have been doing work on it to fix it. I was really happy with the way all the guys ran today, including the freshmen.” 

Link knows that Saturday was a good start, but there is a lot ahead with the schedule getting tougher as the season goes along. 

“Our goals for the team are to run tough up through the PSAC [Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference] championships. Also, when we can, get good training in. Then go to the PSACs and run tough.” 

The men will run tough one last time on their home course this Saturday in the Edinboro Rag Relays. They then compete in the Iona Meet of Champions in New York on Sept. 20.

Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached sports.spectator@gmail.com