Cross country teams emerge victorious

After last week’s break from competition, the cross country team is back, yielding impressive results. Last Saturday, it hosted the Carnegie Mellon Invitational in local Schenley Park. The women’s team took on a 5k, and triumphed with a second-place finish out of 24 teams. The men also turned out a second-place finish in an 8k run, defeating 22 teams.

The women’s 5k was packed with great competition, with over 260 participants. Sophomore Emily Wobb led the charge for the ladies once again, grabbing second place in the 5k with a time of 18:52.21. Senior Courtney Baker joined her teammate in the top 10 finishers, snagging ninth place in 19:17.89. Coming in 17th place, junior Laura McKee finished with a time of 20:05.70. McKee was followed by teammate sophomore Lisa Rising, who ran a 20:11.30, earning her 19th place overall. Coming in fifth for the women’s team was senior Danielle Morse, who grabbed 34th place by less than a second with a time of 20:34.15.

“Our team enjoyed hosting the meet,” said senior Justin Kurp, who finished 13th in the men’s 8k in 26:34.62. “The weather was really nice, and the track guys who ran the show were very enthusiastic. It was also exciting to benchmark our performances from previous years and run with the [cross country alumni who competed in the race] again. I hope everyone comes back next year.”

On the men’s side, the 8k was equally loaded with challengers, with over 230 men competing. Leading the Tartans as usual, senior teammates Dan Addis and Nate Bussiere took second and third place in the event, respectively. Addis finished in 25:41.72, while Bussiere managed 26:00.84. Sophomore Evan Gates closely followed Kurp, coming in 16th with a time of 26:39.69. Rounding out the top 20 was senior J.P. Allera, scoring 19th with a time of 26:50.23. In the end, the men lost to Wayne State University by only four points. With five men in the top 20, Carnegie Mellon has great depth.

“I think our team did well as a whole, and I am impressed with many of the guys’ performances,” Kurp said. “We still have lots of work to do if we’re going to place high at nationals, though. Our goal is to be among the top five teams in the nation. This race has shown us that we have a group of solid runners, as plenty of guys ran great races on such a tough course. We’re hoping we can get a few guys racing closer to Nate and Dan, though. We’ll need that if we are going to compete with the best.”

The Tartans hope to use their second-place finishes as fuel for a successful championship. The Tartans will compete against Oberlin College in Ohio on Saturday, and in three weeks, they will compete in the UAA championship in New York City.