The Oswego State cross country teams hosted their only home invitational of the season on a rain-soaked Saturday morning in front of a huge crowd.
The men’s team hosted the Don Masterson Invitational at 11 a.m., while the women’s team hosted the Pat Peterson Invitational at noon.
The Lakers performed well, with both teams finishing fourth in their respective races. The men’s team ran an 8,000-meter race, while the women’s team ran a 5,000-meter course.
The Oswego State runners were excited to defend their turf and race in front of the home crowd.
“I think being at home, there is a sense of pride about running at their home course,” men’s and women’s coach Stephanie Grimm said.
Rain started to fall at the beginning of the men’s race and continued to pick up midway through the race.
Despite the popular belief that rain has only a negative impact on a race, junior Steve Denbleyker said that the rain helped cool the runners down during the race.
The race started in front of Culkin Hall and went around parts of campus, including the Hidden Fields.
Oswego State had a strong performance. The first Laker runner to cross the line was senior Damian Archie. He finished 16th with an impressive time of 26:43:7, earning him the title of Oswego State Athlete of the Week.
Senior Ben Sweet finished in 20th place and rounding off the top three for Oswego State was junior Nick Montesano at 23rd place. Senior Kyle Gilyard and freshman Tyler Morris also came in the top 50 out of 162 runners.
The men’s team finished fourth out of 13 teams.
After the race, Grimm, who is in her third year as head coach, was happy with the men’s team performance.
“This is the strongest I have seen the men’s team in the three years that I have been here,” Grimm said.
SUNY Cortland’s men’s team set the tone for the race early, as they stayed in front for the duration of the race, taking the top eight places. Senior Pat Fannon finished in first with a time of 25:49:0.
The Pat Peterson 5k race began at noon and, despite the rain, Oswego State runners got off to a quick start.
Junior Meghan Murphy crossed the finish line first for Oswego State and earned a 14th-place finish with a time of 19:38:7.
Sophomores Emily Yerdon and Katie Laris were not too far behind and finished 20th and 21st, respectively.
Meanwhile, sophomores Sarah Popovitch and Marta Tomaszewski also placed in the top 50 out of 162 runners.
Ithaca took first place as a team for the women’s race after placing four runners in the top 10. Cortland finished in second, while Rochester finished in third. Oswego State finished fourth overall as a team.
After the race, Grimm said she was also happy with the women’s team performance, but that there’s always room for improvement.
Both teams have some time off before their next race at the Houghton Highlander Invitational, on Saturday Sept. 21st at 11 a.m.