Since the men’s cross country team began their season ranked No. 12 in the PSAC preseason poll, they have gone on to place at numerous invitations and break into the regional rankings.The women’s team has had similar luck in their season. They began the season ranked No. 13 in the PSAC preseason poll and have also been regionally ranked since the beginning of their season.
Since the second week of the season the women have been ranked No. 9 out of 44 teams in the region while the men have been ranked No. 10.
Junior Mike Malejko likes what he has seen from the new team for this year. There are five new freshmen on the team and only two seniors.
“The guy’s team has a lot of incoming freshmen but are progressing nicely,” Malejko said. “We have finished in the top half as a team in every race this season, except one.”
Most recently, in their last meet of the season, the men placed eighth at the Delaware Invitational. Malejko posted the best time for West Chester in the meet with a time of 28 minutes, 30.66 seconds.
The next major event that the team has to look forward to is the PSAC Championships, which will be hosted by Edinboro and take place this Saturday, Oct. 31. They will then prepare for the regional championships on Nov. 7.
“Coming into this season we had high expectations of doing well in our championship meet,” Malejko said. “Every workout has made us better individual runners, but in the end it will make us better as a team overall.”
On the women’s side, West Chester had an exceptional meet at the Delaware Invitational where the team placed seventh. However, the most notable event at the meet was Jess Joseph finishing in 19 minutes, 51.45 seconds. With this time, she became the second fastest runner to finish this race in the past six years. Lyndsey Ratasiewicz finished in 20 minutes, 7.89 seconds, which is the fifth fastest time in the past six years.
Aside from their success at the Delaware Invitational, the West Chester women’s cross country team have had many meets where they finished in the top half. At the Paul Short Run, which is hosted by Lehigh University, Kristina Koutsouros finished 17th overall in a meet that featured 246 runners. West Chester as a whole finished the meet in fourth place out of 32 competing schools.
The women’s team will also compete in the PSAC Championships on Oct. 31 and the regional championships on Nov. 7.
Amy Festa is a third-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. She can be reached at AF649219@wcupa.edu.