DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- The Stetson men’s and women’s cross country teams finished competition at the Embry-Riddle Classic on Saturday morning, with the women finishing sixth and the men finishing seventh.
Embry-Riddle finished first as a team in the women's race, edging out Xavier-Louisiana and Seton Hall.
Trixi Menge was the top runner for the Hatters, finishing 19th with a time of 20:50.32. The next two runners to cross the finish line for the Hatters were junior Sabrina Guzsvany in 32nd (21:25.75) and freshman Jessica Cosgrove in 33rd (21:27.10).
Three more Hatters finished within four places of each other: Adrienne DeVita in 42nd (22:05.95), Alyssa Thompson in 43rd (22:08.56) and Emmie Wenzell in 45th (22:20.97).
Wenzell, Cosgrove, and Menge all set new personal bests in the race.
The final four Hatters runners finished as follows: Christine Iseley 23:39.07 (60th), Connie Compton 24:22.39 (68th), Shannon Harrell 24:30.50 (71st) and Olena Vlasyuk 26:23.89 (85th).
“I have faith in these girls,” head coach Joe Matuszczak said. “We are putting in a lot of hard work and we had a great race on such a tough course. Things are continuing to look up, and the freshmen are stepping up and starting to perform. We will start to see chunks of time come off of their results.”
In the men’s race, the Hatters finished seventh overall. The host school Embry-Riddle took home the title by having the top three individual finishers in the race.
Andrew Epifanio led the Hatters by finishing 27th overall with a time of 29:53.08. This was the first race in which both Epifanio and Guzsvany ran, which is something Matuszczak was happy to see.
“They are both coming back from health issues, so it is nice to see them back,” Matuszczak said. “They are leaders on this team, and are integral parts of our success. They are going to only get better as the season continues.”
Cody Malloy was the second Hatter to complete the men's race, finishing 45th with a time of 30:54.95.
Andrew Townes finished with a time of 31:45.54 (55th) and Ryan Hodgins followed with a time of 31:51.94 (57th). Angelo Parkinson finished 76th with a time of 33:56.26 and Brian Dughi finished 79th with a time of 34:04.16.
Rounding out the pack for the Hatters were James Welch III in 88th (36:18.95), Deryck Greene in 92nd (37:07.54), Austyn Finnk in 96th (37:42.67) and Matthew Ady in 105th (42:26.00).
“The guys are putting in a lot of hard work and it continues to show,” Matuszczak said. “Many of the runners were able to get close to what they ran last week, and that is a big step since this is such a tough course.
"This was a substantial improvement from last week, and we are beginning to run well as a team. Once we get everybody back, we will be running on all cylinders and headed in the right direction.”
Stetson was without senior Kyle Burton, who missed this race due to a knee injury he sustained earlier this week.
“It’s one of those things we have to play day-by-day,” Matuszczak said. “Within the next couple of days, a lot of these nagging things will be gone and we can get our full roster back out there.”
The Stetson cross country teams will be back in action next Friday night at the FLrunners.com Invitational. The races will be held in Titusville.
Men’s Team Results: 1) Embry-Riddle 21; 2) Seton Hall 68; 3) Flagler; 4) Embry-Riddle Alumni 105; 5) Xavier-Louisiana 128; 6) Bethune-Cookman 180; 7) Stetson 192; 8) Southeastern 232; 9) Warner 273; 10) Johnson & Wales 284; 11) Rollins College 288; 12) Florida College 295
Women’s Team Results: 1) Embry-Riddle 47; 2) Xavier-Louisina 70; 3) Seton Hall 88; 4) Flagler 105; 5) Rollins College 123; 6) Stetson 152; 7) Bethune-Cookman 206; 8) Florida College 228; 9) Southeastern 247; 10) Lynn 257; 11) Ave Maria 320; 12) Warner 335