Sept. 28, 2012
WASHINGTON - All-American Mark Dennin (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown) took the individual title today at the 39th Annual Paul Short Run to lead the Hoya men to a third-place finish. The Paul Short Run, hosted by Lehigh University, welcomes more than 5,000 runners from 400 teams to the Goodman Campus course with races starting at 10 a.m. and extending through the evening with the final race slated for 5:45 p.m. The men's team finished third of 37 teams with 101 points in the collegiate gold field behind Villanova (69 points) and William & Mary (100 points). The Hoya women finished third of 40 teams in the collegiate gold field with 106 points behind Cornell (55) and William & Mary (102 points).
The men's 8,000-meter course saw Dennin take first place and execute his race plan effectively. Dennin's 23:57 was two seconds ahead of Gilbert Kembol of USC Update in second place, the only two runners to break 24 minutes.
"Mark ran a really great race," Men's Distance Coach Brandon Bonsey said. "To break 24 minutes today on this course that ended up being a wet and very soft course, he did a really great job and his last 400 looked very strong."
Dennin made sure he was in the front pack through the first 2,000 meters and sat in position through the 6,000 meter mark when he started to build intensity. With 400 meters to go, Dennin took over the lead and finished strong, picking up one point for the team score.
The second and third finishers for the Hoyas were All-American Andrew Springer (Westerly, R.I./Westerly) and Ben Furcht (Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion) in 13th and 16th place, respectively. Springer timed in at 24:26 (12 points) while Furcht recorded a time of 24:29 (15 points). Springer and Furcht stayed tough and while the duo fell back a little around 5,000 meters, they both recovered well.
Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) and Brian King (Sonoma, Calif./Cardinal Newman) both were the final point scorers for the Hoya men with Leibold finishing 34th (24:43 / 33 points) and King finishing 41st (24:51 / 40 points). Both runners went out a little harder than they should have as they fell back around 6,000 meters but still managed to finish strong and catch some runners on the final stretch.
"You never want to go into a race and lose to a conference rival," Bonsey continued. "But we saw a lot of really good things today and I'm confident that we will continue to improve at Pre Nationals in two weeks and again at BIG EAST Championships."
On the women's side, the Hoyas finished third of 40 teams with 106 points. Two members of the 2012 National Championship team, All-American Emily Jones (Harvard, Mass./Bromfield) and Annamarie Maag (Lake Oswego, Ore./Jesuit Prep), both did not race due to training purposes.
"It was a really good race for this point in the season," Head Women's Cross Country Coach Michael Smith said. "You really never know how it will unfold but right now, I think we really look good for our goals for this season. Our training is focused on peaking in the second or third week of November.
The Hoyas were led by All-American Madeline Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) who finished 10th with a time of 20:37 in the 6,000-meter race, tallying 10 points for the team score. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) was the second Hoya to cross the finish line with a time of 20:42 , good enough for 12th place (12 points).
All-American Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) finished 16th with a time of 20:53 (16 points) with sophomores Hannah Neczypor (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) and Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Philips Exeter Academy) finishing 31st (21:04 / 31 points) and 37th (21:10 / 37 points), respectively.
With just 33 seconds separating the five Hoya point scorers, GU showed a disciplined commitment to pack running and the depth that this team has. Jenna Davidner (South Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) was the sixth finisher for the Blue & Gray and finished just six seconds after Coogan.
Three Hoyas on the roster competed in the men's open race unattached with Miles Schoedler (Ocean View, N.J./Ocean View) taking the individual title with a time of 24:47. John Murray (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) finished fourth in the open race with a time of 24:52 while Mike Crozier (Arlington, Va./Gonzaga), a freshman competing in his first 8,000-meter race, finished fifth with a time of 24:55.
Georgetown will take the following weekend off before heading to Louisville, Ky., for the 2012 NCAA Division I Pre-Nationals Invitational held at the E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park and hosted by the University of Louisville on Saturday, October 13. The Pre-National Invitational serves as a precursor to the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championship.