The men’s and women’s cross country teams both captured first place finishes at the Berry College Viking Open this weekend. The top six runners on the men’s side did not compete on Saturday in order to recover from last week’s tough effort in Indiana and to prepare for the upcoming UAA Championships.
The meet was important for the rest of the team, as it was the last chance the athletes had to earn one of the final four spots on the travel roster for the UAA meet in Rochester.
Senior Scott Jarvis had an outstanding performance, finishing first for the Eagles in 26:41. Jarvis’ performance secured him a fourth place finish in the field of 132.
After a disappointing race last week at the Pre-National meet, Jarvis was fired up to get in a solid performance and prove that he deserves a spot on the UAA Roster.
“I didn’t let the bad race affect me, and I just knew I had to trust my training,” Jarvis said.
The next four Eagles across the line were junior Ishan Dey (10th), sophomore Tyler Cooke (12th), sophomore Ryan Callahan (14th) and sophomore Hirsh Gaikwad (17th).
Associate Coach Carl Leivers was proud of his team’s efforts, but knows that he has to make a tough decision regarding his top ten runners.
“The guys have done a great job working hard all year, and it shows when you have a race like this,” Leivers said. “Deciding on 10 athletes to race at UAAs is going to leave someone who is very deserving out, and that’s a shame.”
The Emory women won the meet by a landslide, placing nine runners in the top 13 collegiate finishers. Sophomore Hannah Moriarty continued her impressive campaign with a personal best 6k time of 23:17. Moriarty finished second overall and was the first collegiate runner to cross the line. Sophomore Marissa Gogniat also ran an impressive race, trailing only 10 seconds behind Moriarty.
“Running alongside my teammates helped me commit myself to maintaining a consistent pace,” Gogniat said.
Accompanying Moriarty and Gogniat in the top seven were sophomore Elise Viox, sophomore Stephanie Crane, freshman Aileen Rivell, senior Calleson Edwards and sophomore Ashley Stumvoll.
The top seven Eagles had a 31 second spread between the first and seventh runner this weekend. The team has been practicing pack running in weekly workouts to encourage carryover into meets.
Crane attributes the close spread to the team’s strong leadership from team captain, Edwards.
“Calley [Edwards] has been working hard to bring all of the different classes together, and I can see it in our running,” Crane said.
Head Coach John Curtin was pleased with his runners’ performances, but he is not satisfied yet.
“The ladies put forth a good effort today, but I think they are capable of giving more,” Curtin said. “It’s time to add all of the little things together.”
The next challenge for the Eagles will be the UAA Championship meet on October 27th in Rochester, N.Y.
– By Megan Hunter