Sept. 10, 2016
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University cross country program traveled to State College, Pa., to open the 2016 season at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Club Invitational, hosted by Penn State University. Running relatively young squads on both sides, the No. 7 men finished third while the No. 19 women placed second.
Georgetown Men's Cross Country: 3rd of 10; 90 points (4 / 8 / 12 / 31 / 35)
The men's team sat six of their projected top competitors on Saturday, looking for some of the younger and inexperienced athletes to gain more familiarity racing against elite teams. 2015 NCAA Champion Syracuse handily won the meet with a score of 19 points (1 / 2 / 3 / 6 / 7), but it was Christian Alvarado (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield College Prep), who was competing right there with the reigning national champion's All-Americans from a season ago. Alvarado finished fourth overall with a time of 26:31.6.
"The first three men ran really well," Head Men's Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey said. "Christian Alvarado had a great summer and proved today why he was one of the elite recruits in the country. Mike Crozier had his best cross country race ever and Spencer Brown had a great debut."
No. 1 Syracuse won the meet with 19 points, followed by Cornell (67), No. 7 Georgetown (90), Lehigh (125), Penn State (146), Saint Joseph's [Pa.] (175), Rutgers (175), Princeton (211), Grove City (273) and Messiah (303).
"Syracuse is the best team in the country and Christian ran right with some of their best guys," Bonsey continued. "I thought that was a great sign. When we go to Paul Short in three weeks, we will line up a full team."
Men's Individual Results: Pl. Name, Time (Points)
4. Christian Alvarado, 26:31.6 (4)
8. Michael Crozier, 26:43.6 (8)
12. Spencer Brown, 26:54.7 (12)
31. Connor Sheryak, 27:40.2 (31)
35. James Burke, 27:51.1 (35)
37. Reilly Bloomer, 27:53.9 (only top five score points)
44. Henry Smithers, 27:59.1 (only top five score points)
Georgetown Women's Cross Country: 2nd of 9; 55 points (6 / 7 / 12 / 13 / 17)
The women, just like the men, used this season opener to gain a lot of experience for some newcomers. The women chose to blend experience and youth with the lineup that included a trio of freshman and a trio of upperclassmen.
"I thought the women competed very well today," Bonsey said after the race. "They had a short spread and worked well together as a team. Autumn Eastman and Madeline Perez demonstrated excellent upperclassmen leadership and Paige Hofstad had a tremendous Hoya debut. We sat out a couple key pieces but once we line everyone up, this team has huge potential."
Host Penn State, ranked No. 13 nationally, won the meet with 37 points, followed by No. 19 Georgetown (55), No. 15 Syracuse (67), Cornell (73), West Virginia (147), Rutgers (169), Saint Joseph's [Pa.] (183), Grove City (256) and Messiah (268).
Women's Individual Results: Pl. Name, Time (Points)
6. Autumn Eastman, 21:17 (6)
7. Madeline Perez, 21:21 (7)
12. Paige Hofstad, 21:40 (12)
13. Audrey Belf, 21:40 (13)
17. Piper Donaghu, 21:48 (17)
21. Maegan Doody, 22:07 (only top five score points)
29. Margie Cullen, 22:50 (only top five score points)
The Hoyas return to action on Saturday, October 1 when both teams compete at the Paul Short Run, held in Bethlehem, Pa., and hosted by Lehigh University.