NEW LONDON, Conn. - Highlighted by a first-place finish from freshman David Kavanaugh (West Hartford, Conn.) in the men's 5K, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) cross country teams continue to make noise, placing second on the men's side, and third on the women's side Saturday afternoon at the Mitchell College Invitational held in the Mitchell Woods on the campus of Mitchell College.
THE RUNDOWN - MEN
Kavanaugh took home the first-place trophy with a finishing 5K time of 17:34.5 (5:39 mile pace), nearly five seconds in front of Ricky Elmer of Elms College who finished runner-up. Johnson and Wales University (JWU) took home the men's team title, placing five runners in the top-10 (third, fourth, sixth, seventh and tenth), good for only 30 points and the victory. The Blue Jays were next with 65 points to claim the runner-up plaque, followed by Dean College with 80 points to round out the podium.
FOR THE BLUE JAYS
Sophomore team captain Eric Knox (Bristol, Conn.) also had a strong showing at the Mitchell Invitational, clocking in inside the top-10 and finishing fifth with a time of 17:59.6 (5:47 mile pace). Two other Blue Jays placed in the top-25 out of 50 total runners at the meet. Freshman Max Morganstern (West Hartford, Conn.) placed 11th with a time of 18:53.0, and sophomore Mario Manon-Porcella (Torrington, Conn.) toured the course in 20:40.9 to take home a 22nd place finish. Rounding out the top-five scoring runners for USJ was sophomore Chamroeun Chhorn (Danbury, Conn.) with a 35th place result completing the course in 22:49.8.
THE RUNDOWN - WOMEN
Lara Jacobs of Dean College took home medalist honors, besting the field of 49 runners at the Mitchell Invitational with a winning time of 21:50.8 (7:01 mile pace). She cruised to victory finishing 15 seconds ahead of the second-place runner Kayla Ranere of Lesley. The team results would be neck-and-neck between JWU and Elms who each totaled 41 points from their five scoring runners. To break the tie, it came down to each team's sixth runner and JWU's Amelia Warfer edged Elms' Michelle Redenz for 19th place overall to give the Wildcats the victory. Elms was second followed by the Blue Jays who tallied 71 points.
FOR THE BLUE JAYS
Freshman Morgan Hall (Norfolk, Conn.) just missed a top-10 finish for the Blue Jays and claimed the 11th position to lead the way for USJ with a finishing 5K time of 23:45.7 (7:38 mile pace). She was less than two seconds behind to 10th place finisher. Classmate Emily Wassick (Granby, Conn.) was right behind Hall and finished 13th with a time of 24:28.6 to finish second for the Blue Jays. Junior captain Symantha Fazzino (Newington, Conn.) and sophomore Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.) were next finishing 17th (25:17.8) and 18th (25:20.5), respectively. Sophomore Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.) rounded out the scoring runners for USJ and crossed the finish line in 22nd with a time of 26:45.8.
The USJ men's and women's cross country teams will be back in action next Saturday, September 21 in the Blazer Classic Invitational, hosted by Elms College at Chicopee Memorial State Park in Chicopee, Mass. The action is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m.