9/15/2012 9:08:00 PM
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Christopher Newport cross country squads put forth a strong effort against a talented field during the 54th Annual William & Mary Cross Country Invitational on Saturday morning at the Eastern State Course.
Competing against six Division I teams, the men placed sixth overall after totalling 154 points. On the women's side, CNU finished fifth with a score of 129.
"Overall, the results were mixed for us today," said head coach Matthew Barreau. "On one hand, there were several things that we did today, with both squads, that continue to confirm that we are well ahead of last year. But there were also some things today that were frustrating in showing that we're not quite where we want to be yet."
William & Mary captured the title on both sides of the meet, while George Mason and Richmond finished second and third for the men. During the women's portion, the Spiders placed second while UNC Wilmington came in third.
"Placing 5th for the women and 6th for the men was not quite what we were capable of," said Barreau. "Even though we didn't run Melissa Rizor for the women, or Ray Gamache or Chris Allen for the men, I still thought there were two more teams that we could have beaten. We have to realize that, recognize what we can do differently and better next time, then execute it."
On the women's side, Christopher Newport was led by freshman Lydia Cromwell, who placed 27th overall after completing the 5k course in 19:44. She was followed by a pair of veteran standouts as senior Karen Bumiller finished 39th in 20:08 before junior Erin Rolaf clocked in at 20:30 in 46th place.
"Lydia ran right at her PR for 5k today on a tough course, but there was not much smooth about the race. She's still so raw when it comes to racing, and if we can even her effort out, she's going to see some big improvements still to come, even this year," said Barreau. "And Karen's race today was especially exciting because this is a place she hasn't run well in her previous races on this course. Today, she not only showed that she is well ahead of last year physically but also mentally."
Cromwell's efforts headlined another strong day by CNU's excellent freshman class as two other first-year competitors also placed in the top-50 for the Captains. Eliza Eaton finished in 20:36, which placed her 49th in the field. Fellow classmate Alexa Tabackman was right on her heels, crossing in 50th with a time of 20:37.
On the men's side, Josh Showalter excelled again as he led the Captains by finishing 36th overall during the 8k competition. After placing second in his collegiate debut during the CNU Opener two weeks ago, the freshman star continued to shine after posting a time of 27:24.
"That wasn't a bad debut at the 8k distance for him," said Barreau. "He ran tough, and it was good to see him step up to the role of leading the squad today."
In addition to Showalter, CNU placed three other runners in the top-50. Donovan Lewin closed well and eventually placed 42nd after finishing in 27:48. Junior Aaron Zook looked strong in the middle of the race and eventually clocked in at 27:56, which placed him 46th in the field. Soon after, senior Daniel Austin finished 49th with a time of 28:11, while junior Michael Hoy completed the course in 53rd after crossing the line in 28:31.
"I think we are at the point now where it is understood that we are better than last year, and we have to focus on making the transition to focusing on getting where we want to be," said Barreau. "And we are at the point in the season where we will be shifting the focus to reflect that. We can no longer compare ourselves to where we used to be. We have to totally be concentrated on where we plan to go. We have to grade ourselves against what it takes to get to the National meet."