Oct. 5, 2013
WASHINGTON - In its second weekend of competition, the Georgetown cross country program traveled to Bethlehem, Pa., for the 40th running of the Paul Short Invitational, hosted by Lehigh University. The Georgetown women, ranked No. 6 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) won the nationally-renowned event in the college gold division, a field of 47 teams. The 20th-ranked men placed third of 47 teams in the college gold division.
"This was the first race of the season for Samantha Nadel," Head Women's Cross Country Coach Michael Smith said. "She was part of the US Junior Cross Country team that raced in Poland last year so we knew she was going to make a big impact on the team. In her first race of the season, she did a great job leading the team today.
"I was also impressed with Rachel Schneider. She has had some interruptions in her preparation for this cross country season but today showed just how much experience she has. She is decorated most on the track side and the way she kept up with Samantha today really displayed how much that translates to cross country 6K running."
The women were led by a trio who finished in the top 20 of the 47-team field with Nadel (Glen Head, N.Y./North Shore) finishing 11th with a time of 20:40. Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas), an All-American, followed up in 13th place just behind Nadel with a time of 20:43. Haley Pierce (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall School), in her first cross country season on the Hilltop, was third in the trio with a time of 20:50, good enough for 15th place.
Kelsey Smith (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) and Rachel Paul (Farmingville, N.Y./Sachem East) were the final point scorers for the Hoyas as they finished 26th (21:05) and 47th (21:24), respectively.
The conditions were rough today as it was 85 degrees with the race starting at 11:45 a.m. and the sun beating down with no shade on the course for the runners.
"In a race with this many teams, you have to get out and get good position early," Smith explained. "Otherwise, you get bogged down among the mass of the race. You have to start with a sprint to get that good position. It was hot today and this team worked hard and now it's time to get recovered."
The Blue & Gray finished first with 112 points followed by Dartmouth (125), No. 12 Villanova (168), No. 10 Cornell (182), Columbia (203), Indiana (214), Harvard (221), West Virginia (257), No. 13 Penn State (326) and Alabama (355) to round out the top 10.
On the men's side, the Hoyas finished third of 47 teams. No. 15 Indiana led the way with 89 points followed by Dartmouth (106), No. 20 Georgetown (110), Harvard (167), Iowa State (188), La Salle (191), Yale (257), Navy (330), Utah State (292) and Penn State (406) for the top 10.
"Andrew Springer and Brian King continued to do a great job of leading our squad," Head Men's Distance Coach Brandon Bonsey said. "They provided great upperclassmen leadership. It was a hot and sticky day and those two stayed tough in difficult conditions. Bobby Peavey also ran a solid team race."
The men's team was led by the duo of All-American Springer (Westerly, R.I./Westerly) and King (Sonoma, Calif./Cardinal Newman) with both athletes putting up top-10 performances. Springer finished fourth with a time of 23:52, pacing 4:49 while King finished ninth with a time of 24:12 (4:53 pace). Peavey (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) finished 20th with a time of 24:30, pacing a 4:56 mile.
Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) and John Murray (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) were the fourth and fifth point scorers for the Hoyas with 36th- (24:40 / 4:58) and 41st-place (24:46 / 4:59) finishes, respectively.
"If we can get two more guys to run with Brian (King) and Bobby (Peavey) then we can be really good," Bonsey added. "We were disappointed in the results but the pieces of the puzzle are there. These first two meets have forced the guys to hurt and suffer through the pain. These efforts will serve us well later in the season."
The Hoya men will compete in the Blue-Gold Meet hosted by Delaware on Saturday, Oct. 12 in Newark, Del. The women will take next weekend off and continue the season with the Pre-National meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Oct. 19 for a preview of the course of the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships.