WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's and women's cross country teams took home the hardware Saturday morning, winning the annual Blue Jay 5K Invitational over Mitchell College (MC) and Baypath University (BU), on the campus of USJ.
Another win for freshman David Kavanaugh (West Hartford, Conn.) was equally matched by the speed of freshman Morgan Hall (Norfolk, Conn.), who crossed the line first for the women, with a time of 22 minutes 36 seconds (7:18 Mile Pace). Kavanaugh claimed a personal best in the 5K with a 16:25 (5:18 Mile Pace).
THE RUNDOWN - MEN
Kavanaugh was one of four Blue Jays in the top five, and one of six in the top seven. Sophomore and team captain Eric Knox (Bristol, Conn.) finished runner-up with a 17:11 (5:33 Mile Pace), 46 seconds off the blistering pace of Kavanaugh. Freshman Evan Carney of Mitchell completed the podium runners, just nine seconds behind Knox. They were the only three runners with a mile pace of less than six minutes. USJ took the overall with 18 points over Mitchell College, who finished with 42.
FOR THE BLUE JAYS
A USJ quartet crossed the line after the podium finishers. Freshman Max Morganstern (West Hartford, Conn.), sophomore Mario Manon-Porcella (Torrington, Conn.), sophomore Chamroeun Chhorn (Danbury, Conn.) and senior Alex Gillissen (Pomfret, Md.) all crossed fourth-through-seventh before the 23-minute mark in a 13-runner field.
THE RUNDOWN - WOMEN
Hall's victory is the first of her career, and it was a decisive one, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of second place. She was followed by a trio of Blue Jays flying across the line, as freshman Emily Wassick (Granby, Conn.) junior Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.), and junior Symantha Fazzino (Newington, Conn.) finished in 24:30, 24:35, and 24:50 respectively. Sophomore Grace Burns of Mitchell College rounded out the top-5 with a 24:58 (8:03 Mile Pace). USJ took the overall with only 16 points. Mitchell was second at 59, followed by Baypath at 61.
FOR THE BLUE JAYS
All seven women's runners finished in the top-10 for USJ in an 18-runner field. Sophomore Taya Valdez (East Lyme, Conn.), junior Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.) and junior Abigail Horner (Niantic, Conn.) finished sixth, eighth and 10th. All three held a mile pace fewer than 10 minutes.
The USJ men's and women's cross country teams will take a weekend off, before getting back in action on Saturday, October 12 in the James Earley Invitational, which will be hosted by Westfield State College at Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusetts. The action is scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m.