The Union College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams have each competed in a trio of events this month. On the first weekend of Oct., both teams competed in split-squad events at the MSMC Invitational and Mike Woods Invitational.
The Dutchmen were anchored by Jesse Coull ’16, who led the way for Union in the Mike Woods Invitational, finishing in 25:56.2, good for 44th overall.
Justin Zorn ’17 and Arden Keller ’19 were both completed in under 27 minutes and helped the Dutchmen take 23rd place out of field of 38 teams competing.
On the women’s team, it was Jen Ventrella ’16 and Samantha Miller ’19 who led the Dutchwomen to 30th place at the Mike Woods Invitational. Ventrella completed the course in 24:49.7 while Miller finished just seven seconds behind at 24:56.6. In a field of 453 runners, Ventrella and Miller finished 156th and 163rd respectively.
In both the men’s and women’s events, it was the host school, Geneseo, that led the field, just edging out St. Lawrence for the win.
The following weekend brought the Union Cross Country program high honors when the men’s and women’s teams competed at the James Early Invitational.
This time both teams had the full squad available for competition and both teams were able to showcase their strength in numbers.
On the men’s side, it was the one-two punch of Zorn and Coull who were the driving forces for the Dutchmen and guided the team to victory at the event. Zorn had the fastest overall time at the event, finishing in 25:53.77.
Not only was this time good for first overall, but it broke the school record previously held by Coull. Not to be outdone, Coull placed fourth overall with a time of 26:14.45.
The Dutchmen had two more runners in the top-30 and four more in the top-50. It was an overall team effort with spectacular individual efforts that helped the Dutchmen capture their second victory of the season.“This was a great meet for our men’s team,” said Coach Pat Petty who is in his first year as the director of the cross country team, “This is the first time we’ve won two regular season meets in the same year.”
Zorn’s record-setting performance earned him not only the honor of Liberty League Runner of the Week but also ECAC Division III Runner of the Week.
Arden Keller ’19, who finished the James Early Invitational in 21st with a time of 27:12.83, took home both Liberty League Rookie of the Week and ECAC Division III Runner of the Week. It was the second time for each runner taking home their respective awards.
The Dutchwomen also had a strong showing at the James Early Invitational, placing 19th overall in the 38-team field.
It was once again Ventrella and Miller who led the Dutchwomen, finishing in 19:53.07 and 19:59.11 respectively.
Both runners placed in the top-40 but were the only Union runners to place in the top-100 in the women’s event.
“The women had a very nice meet with several personal bests,” said Coach Pat Petty, who seemed pleased with the performance of the Dutchwomen, “Miller, Emily Monac ’18 and Annie Kundert ’16 all had their best meets and showed great improvement.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams resume action this weekend when they compete in the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Championships.