Tough competition at GLVC invitational turns out to be too much for the Fighting Scots

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at 5:11 PM
Tough competition at GLVC invitational turns out to be too much for the Fighting Scots by Mike Lantinen
Contributed Photo

This past weekend, the Edinboro Fighting Scots took on monstrous competition at the GLVC Crossover Invitational. Unlike the teams they had previously faced at the Paul Short Invite, this meet offered no Division I talent. Instead, they faced the same they will eventually face if either team can earn a bid to the nationals competition in southern Indiana.

As a team, the men’s squad finished in spot 11, and the women in 13th. Separating themselves as the day’s top finishers for Edinboro were Austin Pondel and Stefanie Parsons. Most notable was Pondel, who placed sixth in the race overall, narrowly missing breaking the 25-minute barrier.

Pondel, who is a transfer from Penn State main campus, has continued to have success throughout the year and has proven to be a threat to nab another Division II All-American honor for the program.

Parsons, the freshman phenomenon, came through big for the Scots with an overall time of 22:34.9, which was good enough for 32nd in the race.

Between the two teams, much could be improved though.

“If we can put together our performances from last week and this week, we could have been a top team. We just have to bring it all together when the time comes,” Gene Baritot said.

Baritot placed second for the team and 68th overall in the race. After getting off to a fast start, the redshirt junior hopes to use this race as a building block for what’s to come.

“It’s a long season and a lot of the guys are starting to show that we can perform well under pressure.”

Colton Cassell, a freshman who was initially supposed to redshirt his first year in the program, had a breakthrough performance as the third runner on the team.

“He has shown immense maturity for his age and proven that he is a top class runner,” senior Jon Gusew said.

Gusew finished in 88th and finally found himself in a spot at the end of the race where he can feel confident in going forward.

“I sat back and set a nice rhythm. Stayed relaxed. And for the last three kilometers I looked to make moves and close the race.”

Jared Hallow, the final scoring member of the team, placed 104th with a time of 26:36.1.

On the women’s side, Hope Pietrocarlo, Jasmine Fehr, Brooke Messinger and Abbey Lang all scored.

“They ran below what they expected, but they are a young team and they will move forward from a performance like that quickly. Younger runners remind me of quarterbacks in the NFL, they have short memories, they always have their eyes set on their next competition,” Gusew said.

The Fighting Scots will race again on Oct. 21 at the PSAC Championships at California (Pa.), where the women currently rank as the top team in the conference. The men rank second overall.

Michael Lantinen can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com. 

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