By Rachael Cataldo, Staff Writer
Sophomore Erin shattered her own school record time during the 4K race at the Dickinson College Long/Short Invitational to lead the women’s cross country team to a fourth place finish in Carlisle on Sept. 30.
Reese finished the race with a time of 14:54.4 to finish seventh overall. She lowered the school record by 12 seconds, which she set earlier this year at the Bucknell Invitational.
“Breaking the record felt great because it shows that all [of] the training and hard work I put into the season is paying off,” Reese said. “It’s also nice because last year being my first of cross country I was learning and adjusting to the sport.”
“Erin has been running very strong all year and shows signs that we have just begun to scratch the surface of her potential,” head coach Martin Owens said. “I truly believe she can be one of the top 5 runners at the Landmark Conference Championships in four weeks.”
Also finishing strong for the River Hawks were seniors Hannah Stauffer and Kailyn Reilly. Stauffer placed ninth overall with a time of 15:04.3 while Reilly crossed the finish line 20th with a time of 15:24.0 for Susquehanna.
“The three of them are just as good as any other top three in the Landmark Conference,” Owens said about Reese, Stauffer, and Reilly.
The River Hawks raced against 22 other schools at the invitational and finished with 26 points. The Elizabethtown Blue Jays won the event with 20 points overall.
Junior Ciaran Fisher was the top finisher for the men’s cross country team with a time of 12:38.1 to take a 9th place overall in the 4K race.
“It feels great to be the top finisher for the River Hawks,” Fisher said. “My performances throughout the season have shown that the summer training has been paying off. I’ve ran a lot more miles than last summer and because of that, I’m more fit than I was last year.”
Freshman Leonard Bolinsky was the second River Hawk to cross the finish line to place 58th overall with a time of 14:04.6. The next Susquehanna runner to finish was freshman Robert Sattler with a time of 14:43.7 to place 72nd overall at the invitational.
The River Hawks placed 12th overall out of 20 teams in the 4K race.
In the 8K race, senior Eric Pressler was the first River Hawk to cross the finish line with a 49th place finish and a time of 28:28.2 leading the team to finish 15th out of 22 teams at the invitational.
Senior Kyle Skelton was the next to finish in 54th place with a time of 28:38.8. Sophomore Brandon Sorge was the final Susquehanna scoring runner with a time of 29:32.6, coming in 63rd place.
The Misericordia Cougars won the 4K race and the Messiah Falcons took home the winning title in the 8K race.
“Each week both teams have been improving which is what you look for as a coach,” Owens said. “We are more focused on the process versus outcomes, especially early in the season. Just last week, we started to focus on the race pace intervals and really ramped up the intensity of our training.”
“Over the next few weeks, this will remain our focus until we taper before the championship season. The women have been very consistent all year and show signs that everything is progressing perfectly. The men have been improving each week but we need to get more consistent,” Owens said.
Both cross country teams return to action on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Gettysburg Invitational. Match time starts at 10:30 a.m. for all teams. Last year the women’s team finished first while the men’s team finished eighth.