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Harriers Strong in Empire State

Harriers Strong in Empire State

By Seth McGuffin

MOUNT MORRIS, N.Y. – The Shenandoah University men's and women's cross country teams competed at the Mike Woods Invitational hosted by SUNY-Geneseo Saturday afternoon with both squads posting top 15 finishes. 

The Hornet women placed 13th overall in a field of 22 teams while the SU men were 14th out of 24.

Senior Shelby Shrader led the women's charge, crossing the finish tape in 23:32.9 for 38th place in the 6000 meter event. Emily Miller and Aislynn Smith posted top 100 finishes and clocked times of 24:23.9 and 25:01.9, respectively. Kayla McGhee (25:37) and Alexandria Caljean (25:47.4) rounded out the scoring runners.

Others competing this week included Sarah Mann (25:54.8), Mackenzie Fennell (27:07.7), Shannon Meyer (27:10.3), Meredith Holding (27:56.3), and Angela Squillaro (27:58.7).

Coach Andy Marrocco was impressed with the team's finish noting the team's average time was one of the best in the last five seasons. "The team is on pace and have been very discipline as we approach some very competitive meets," said Marrocco. "The conference championships are a month away and the team is right on task to compete for the team title."

On the men's side, the 24-team field included three regionally ranked squads. Sophomore Justin Mehrer crossed the finish line in 26:54.6 over the 8,000-meter course to place 42nd overall.

Ray Parsons was just behind Mehrer at 27:06.9.  Matthew Horton was the next Hornet and Zach Barton followed with 27:29.5 and 28:02.3, respectively, before Winston Davis completed the SU contingent at 29:01.

The men's field featured over 300 total runners.

Shenandoah fielded 11 total runners in the men's race. Kyle Albert (29:40), Matt Gussias (30:23.3), Donald Shubrooks (30:36.6), Adam Gleissner (31:18.3), Xzavier Stelly (32:05.5) and Naol Bayisa (32:23.1) had the remaining SU times.

"The men's team raced very well today," Marrocco said. "We are facing great competition the next two races and the men are accepting that challenge."

Both the men and women will take a one-week hiatus before competing at the Inter-Border Battle hosted Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey on October 15.