XC battles mud at PSACs

Lauren Abbott, Editor-in-Chief

On Nov. 3, both the men and women’s cross country teams participated in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championships.  The event was hosted at Edinboro University.

The Mercyhurst women placed ninth out of 17 teams at the championships. “If one word was to describe the championships, it would be muddy,” Molly Kennedy, a junior on the women’s cross country team said.

Despite the mud, Kennedy led the Mercyhurst women, crossing the finish line in 20th at 24:52. Following her was Rebecca King in 26th at 25:12. Senior Chloe Tyillian came in 43rd with a time of 25:58, followed by senior Anna Warner in 63rd with a time of 26:32. Rounding out the top seven were freshman Margaret Sutherland in 71st at 26:50, junior Claire Miller in 73rd at 26:53 and sophomore Henley Spracklen in 97th with a time of 27:51. Kennedy and King also earned All-PSAC Second Team honors.

Even though the weeklong rain had made the course more than a little muddy, the Lakers were up for the challenge. “The conditions for the race were the worst I have ever experienced. However, we were able to finish ninth as a team, which was a goal from the start of the season,” Kennedy said. With a top 10 finish at the championships, the women round out their season on a high note
“This year’s PSAC Conference was a test of endurance and determination, and I think we stepped up to the challenge,” Kennedy said.

Alongside the women, the Mercyhurst men’s cross country team also competed, placing 14th out of 15 teams at the championships. “Although there was a ton of mud and terrible conditions, we managed to come in 14th place and beat our pre-season ranking, given to us by the PSAC,” sophomore Maxx Palisin said. Freshman Benjamin Barnes led the Mercyhurst men, coming in 29th at 28:22. Barnes also earned a spot on the All-PSAC Second Team.

Following Barnes for the Mercyhurst men was senior Danny Dmuchowski in 64th place at 29:36. They were followed by Palisin in 87th at 31:19, freshman Colin Dunn in 90th at 31:34 and sophomore Dylan Bemiss in 97th at 32:19. Rounding out the top seven were freshman Dennis Whalen coming in at 99th at 34:07 and freshman Alex Schick at 102nd in 35:18.

“The season overall was pretty good. We had a few minor road bumps along the way, but we have worked hard all semester long and are ready to finish out the year with one more race on November 17,” Palisin said.

As the season wraps up, cross country returners are already looking toward next year’s season. “Next year, I am looking forward to the same family bond we have now, and hopefully all of us can work together to push ourselves to be the best we can be,” Palisin said. While the PSAC championships wraps up the regular cross country season for the teams, there is still the NCAA regional championships and qualifiers on Nov. 17 at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.