Men’s Cross Country team ranked third in the PSAC

Tyler Trumbauer
Sports Editor/Spectator

Edinboro’s men’s cross country team experienced a good dose of success in 2013. First year head coach Rick Hammer said that this year’s squad “is much different” than last year’s.

That doesn’t mean the success is ending though.

“We are returning four of our top eight from our Nationals roster,” the second-year coach said. “We graduated a lot of very valuable seniors, but I don’t want to say this is going to be a rebuilding year, but we will be very young.”

The rest of Hammer’s constitutes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference agree that Edinboro will not falter this fall as the Fighting Scots were ranked third in the preseason coaches’ poll and also received one first-place vote.

Leading this young, talented roster that includes eleven first-year runners here at Edinboro is senior Matt Link. The Avon Lake, Ohio native finished 44th at last Nationals last year and finished five seconds short of All-American status.

Fellow senior Tim McConnell will also be put in a leader- ship role as the upperclassman boasts back-to-back All-PSAC honors.

Hammer also noted a pair of juniors in Logan Kempney and Elliot Martynkiewicz as other leaders that can lead the team this fall.

Some underclassmen to watch as the season progresses include the team’s lone sophomore in Jonathan Gusew from Pittsburgh, PA as well as the 10 freshman recruits that are on the roster for this season.

With an inexperienced group of harriers to start the season, Hammer still has lofty goals.

“My hope is that we place better at regionals than we did last year and to make Nationals again. With so many new Edinboro runners, if we accomplish that, we will be set up for a good future here for years to come.”

For right now, the present includes the first annual Doug Watts Distance Gala here at Edinboro University to open up the season this Saturday, September 6 at 10:30am. On September 13, are the Edinboro Rag Relays, the final meet at home for 2014.

The Fighting Scots then compete in the Iona Meet of Champions in New York on September 20, the Greater Louisville Classic on October 4 and the Wisconsin Adidas Invite on October 17 leading up to the PSAC championships on November 8 at Mansfield University.

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