After a strong performance at the Oberlin Inter-Regional, the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the 27th Annual University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships Saturday. The meet was held at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh and hosted by the Eagles’ conference mate Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.).

In a tough race with fierce competition, the men rose to the occasion, placing fifth. Leading the Eagles for the second straight time was Alex Fleischhacker with an 8K time of 26:11.4. Fleischhacker placed 21st out of the 75-runner field.

“The team performed at our highest expectations this weekend,” Fleishhacker said, as the men’s team beat a couple of nationally ranked teams in their impressive outing.

Head Coach John Curtin was especially pleased with Fleishhacker’s performance.

“He continues his impressive leadership,” Curtin said. “He has really come on in the last three meets. Our guys beat some nationally-ranked teams and are in great shape going into Regionals.”

Curtin was also very satisfied with freshman Michael McBane, who ran a personal best 26:12.4 while placing second for the Eagles (23rd overall).

“He really came of age this weekend running an impressive personal best on a very tough course,” Curtin said.

Fleischhacker and McBane were not the only two men who preformed well in the outing. Senior Eddie Mulder (26:37.5) and junior Patrick Crews (26:38) finished 32nd and 33rd, respectively, while freshman Michael Sisario rounded out the team’s scorers (26:52, 45th).

The women did not do as well at the meet, finishing seventh and falling short of their expectations.

Junior Tamara Surtees was the team’s leading performer for the fifth time this season, posting a 6K time of 22:46.3 that was good for the 14th position out of 79 entries. With her strong showing at the event, Surtees earned Second Team All-UAA acclaim for the second straight year in a row. Senior Emily Caesar also performed excellently, placing 16th overall with a time of 22:51. However, after the two strong performances from Surtees and Caesar, the Eagles fared poorly. Curtin, for one, was not pleased.

“Our women got good races out of Tamara and Emily but didn’t back them up,” he said. “The talent is there. They just need to believe it. We need somebody to step up if we are going to make a run at Regionals for a national spot.”

With both teams hoping to finish the season strong, the Eagles will compete Nov. 16 when they venture to Newport News, Va, to compete at the NCAA Regional Championships.

– By Michael Scheck 

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