Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Saturday, November 8, West Chester University’s men and women’s cross-country teams raced at Lambs Creek recreation area, near Mansfield University for the 2014 Cross-County PSAC Championships.

Unlike most cross-country seasons, this one was two weeks longer than usual to accommodate the NCAA’s “Festival of Champions.” As a result, both teams found themselves facing colder than usual weather.  Temperatures were in the 30-degree zone and frost was still on the ground at 10:00 a.m.

The men’s team raced first at 11:30 a.m., and the combination of melting frost and cold, windy weather made for a wet, cold, and muddy race.  The first Golden Ram to cross the finish line first was fourth-year runner Zack Musselman, finishing in 43rd place with a time of 26:19 for the eight-kilometer course.  His time was the fastest recorded in West Chester’s history at that course.

Third-year Jake Siegel followed closely behind Zack, posting a time of 26:27 and a place of 45.   Second-year Andrew Dombrowiecki finished third for the team, crossing the finish line at 26:53 and a place of 54.

Third-year James Vadas and fifth-year Chris Bucci both crossed only two seconds apart from each other, with Vadas posting a place of 70th and a time of 27:12 and Bucci 71st and 27:14.  The next finisher for the men’s cross-country team was Bryson Long, finishing up in 101st place with a time of 28:70.

The women’s cross-country team bolted off the starting line at 12:30, under similar conditions as the men’s race.  Third-year Amanda Eisman crossed the finish line first for the team placing fifth, and finishing the six-kilometer course with a time of 21:45.  Her time for this course was the best ever in West Chester University’s history.  The NCAA also selected Eisman as an all-conference runner, for the third season in a row.

The second racer for the women’s team to cross the finish line was fourth-year Leigh Manning-Smith, finishing 27th with a time of 22:51.  Manning-Smith also received recognition from the NCAA for her performance. Third for the golden rams was graduate student Laurel Jones, finishing 39th at 23:13.

Behind Jones, second-year Mallory Drake finished the muddy, freezing course in 24:11, placing 80th. Alindon Smith finished next at 111th with a time of 25:14, and Sam Russell crossed the line next in 29:20 placing 148.

The men’s team placed ninth overall, two places higher than last year, and the women’s team eleventh.  The women’s team saw a 16 point score improvement than last year’s season.

The final race for both teams will be the regionals cross-county race held at Slippery Rock University, on Nov. 22.

Adam Farence is fourth year student dual-majoring in History and French. He can be reached at AF764146@wcupa.edu

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