Boro cross country off to a running start

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 at 7:18 PM
Boro cross country off to a running start by Mike Lantinen

Dew from the cold, humid night still remained throughout the neatly kept field. Finely mowed and rolled, Edinboro’s cross country course, nestled between the Lawrence Towers and the outdoor maintenance headquarters sported a long white line, signifying the race start. The entrance of the wooded portion of the course is marked by a sign, remembering the many years of success under former coach Doug Watts. Centrally located lies Edinboro’s ROTC signature stamp, raising the university, military and American flag for competitors and spectators alike to notice.

First year coach Ryan Foster and athletes would host three teams, Slippery Rock, Glenville St., and PSU-Dubois. And Foster, already building a reputation as a players’ coach, while quickly winning over the confidence of Edinboro’s veteran runners, would get his squad off to a good start.

Successful performances would come from unlikely competitors, as freshman Brian Geehrer and transfer sophomore Jared Hallow would come in second and third place overall. Both would post impressive times on the hilly course. Geehrer finished in 26:08 while Hallow, formerly of Potomac St., would finish in 26:28.

“A lot of what Brian showed in that race is based on his past history as a runner. I haven’t even been working [with] him for a month. I’m not concerned about Brian’s longevity any more than I am about the other athletes,” said Foster.

Following closely were senior Jon Gusew and junior Gene Baritot as they crossed the line one second apart for fourth and fifth place. Gusew ran a 26:33.8 and Baritot registered a 26:32.8.

"We worked together through three miles and picked up the pace from there. I wanted them to get used to the pack mentality,” said Foster. Rounding out the scoring runners for Edinboro was Steven Scheetz, who only trailed Gusew by three seconds.

When asked about the course difficulty and what obstacles it can bring when using the pack mentality, Foster added, “It makes it harder because in a group you have some guys who like to really attack hills and some guys like to run faster on the downhills.” 

Differences lie in both training and racing focuses for the women. They would sport less balance as Emma Sullivan led the way in first place.

“Emma Sullivan is obviously our team leader at the moment, so for her, I will be stressing, go out and keep doing what you’ve been doing,” said Foster.

There is plenty of work to be done for the Scots as they approach their first big meet of the year. After Sullivan, Abbey Peters and Abby Lang would round out the top three finishers for the team. German native Pia Briger would compete in her first race on American soil, finishing 17th overall in 21:47.2.

“We have to get through this week first and get some intense workouts in. We will go after Michigan State, again on the men’s side [we’ll] stress finding each other, but it will be a bit harder since it’s a much bigger field. On the ladies side... we will try to form up the pack from that two through five spots to try and close that gap on our spread of the scoring five,” said Foster.

Mike Lantinen is a sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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