Cross country places 28th at St. Leo, concludes season

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 6:28 PM
Cross country places 28th at St. Leo, concludes season by Mike Lantinen
Photo: Jen Geehrer

Attending their first national competition under first year coach Ryan Foster, the Edinboro Fighting Scots cross country team traveled to St. Leo, Florida on Nov. 19. They would place 28th as a team.

Unable to put a runner in the top 100, as many of them had hoped to do, the team left disappointed in their final performance of the year.

“It didn’t seem like we were as zoned in or as excited to attack the course and get after the other teams like we were in the two races prior,” junior Corey Wefing explained.

Leading the way for the team for the first time this year was sophomore Gene Baritot. Placing 143rd, Baritot started slow, finding himself in 203rd at 4.2 kilometers. He would end up passing 60 competitors in the final 5.7 kilometers of the race.

“Gene ran really well, put himself in the position he needed to be through 2k and came though as the number one runner of the day,” Wefing said.

Wefing would cross the line next, as the second finisher for the team in 152nd.

“I wish I would of went out a little slower. I think if we would have ran together, like a pack [and] like we have all season, I believe it would have been a lot better and a lot more motivating for everyone,” Wefing said.

Other notable finishes came from potential PSAC freshman of the year Bryan Geehrer in 153rd, Steven Scheetz in 183rd, and Jon Gusew in 202nd. 

Florida’s high humidity and temperature would play a key role in a race, which was comprised of the best competition in the country.

“We can’t use that as an excuse. I don’t think it really had an effect to be honest. It might of made things a little more difficult, but that’s what we expect, that’s what we train for,” Wefing said.

With the track record Edinboro has built throughout its history, a trip to the national meet, regardless of placement, can benefit greatly in recruitment.

“Recruits want to be part of a successful team. If they see a team going to nationals every year, they’re going to want to be a part of that,” Wefing said.

He continued, “Seeing how many national appearances we’ve made... how many Atlantic region and PSAC championships we’ve had, and looking at our current roster, we have a lot of upswing, a lot of potential for next year. For a recruit, I don’t see why Edinboro would be a place they wouldn’t want to be.”

An opportunity to return six of their top seven runners leaves the Scots in a good place competitively looking into the next year. An impressive year in full by Bryan Geehrer also gives Foster a great recruitment chip, proving the storied program can put freshman in a great position to succeed.

“Bryan obviously had an awesome season, awesome freshman season. He was one of those people [where] we didn’t really know what to expect coming into nationals,” Wefing continued.

“This race is going to help him a lot for this upcoming season. It’s gonna motivate him, maybe get some fire in his eyes a little bit.” 

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

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