Men place third, women take fourth as cross country finishes strong at annual Oswego State Invitational

Katie Riley and Sarah Popovitch of Cross-country
Photo by Pete Soscia
Two Oswego cross country men
Photo by Peter Soscia

The Oswego State men’s and women’s cross country teams placed third and fourth respectively, at the Oswego State Invitational on Saturday in their only home meet of the season.

The men’s team totaled 78 points with two runners finishing in the top 10, which was enough to edge out Cobleskill, which placed fourth. The women’s team had one runner in the top 10 and totaled 93 points, coming in just behind Utica College.

The men were led on the 8K course by senior captain Dylan Hardwick and junior Ryan Korzinski, who placed eighth and ninth and finished in 27:09 and 27:20, respectively.

Behind Hardwick and Korizinski was a 10-runner gap before the next Oswego State runners crossed the finish line nearly a minute later.

Senior Mike Bott and junior captain Ben Sweet finished 20th and 21, respectively. Bott crossed the finish line at 28:05 and Sweet finished with a time of 28:07. Bott finished in the top 50 runners at last year’s SUNYAC championships.

Freshman Nick Montesano rounded out the men’s scorers in 30th place and crossed the finish line at 28:40.

Junior Thorin Kane, sophomore Kyle Gilyard and sophomore John Peterson finished 31st, 36th, and 45th respectively in the field of 148.

“I’m pretty happy (with the outcome of the meet),” Hartwick said. “The young guys are stepping up. It’s a pleasant surprise.”

The third place finish for the men’s team comes after they took second place at their first meet of the season at SUNY Oneonta.

While the men’s team has many experienced runners, the women’s team has a very strong freshman class. The Lakers returned just two juniors and two seniors, only one of which contributed points to the team score.

Freshman Meghan Murphy led the team, placing fifth after inching ahead of another runner just feet from the finish line. Murphy completed the flat 5K course in 20:02.

Murphy led a strong and unexpected freshmen performance at the meet.

“It was a surprise,” assistant coach Stephanie Grimm said. “Meghan (Murphy) was our No. 1 runner. She runs with a fire you can’t coach.”

Murphy was not the only freshman runner to finish strong. Many of the freshmen runners proved themselves during the only home meet of the season.

“Barbara Scheibel stepped up and had a good race,” Grimm said. “Nick Montesano is in a very nice pack. It was his first 8K, which can be a pretty big leap, but he has been staying with the top guys.”

Runner Matt Wegenhauser normally runs short distances, but Grimm was pleasantly surprised with his performance during the 8k.

“They all have something to contribute,” Grimm said.

Many of the upperclassmen on the women’s team finished strong as well.

Junior Erin Crise crossed the line 18 runners after Murphy. Crise, who finished the course in 21:29, led the team in two races last year. She also placed 31st in last season’s SUNYAC championships.

Sophomore Christina Sakowski finished 27th at 21:39, followed by sophomore Kathleen Fulton in 29th place who finished in 21:51. Scheibel rounded out the scorers on the women’s team at 22:02. Scheibel placed 34th.

Grimm was pleased with the overall effort of both teams.

“Both teams held their own,” assistant coach Stephanie Grimm said. “I was happy with the way they performed.”

The men’s and women’s cross country teams have their next meet Sept. 24 at the Houghton Invitational. The women’s race is at noon and the men’s is at 1 p.m.