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Cross country runs a rainy Alumni Open

Hurricane Hanna brought heavy winds and torrential rain on Saturday, September 6, but the weather didn’t stop the Millersville Cross Country team from participating in their second Annual Alumni Meet.

According to Head Coach Andy Young, the 5K course the team competed on was “a tough, true cross country course” full of hills, grass and dirt.

The conditions on Saturday made it a treacherous muddy mess. Young thinks it comes down to practice, but they cannot account for everything.

“It’s really hard to prepare for the kind of rain that we had on Saturday,” Young said.
Aside from the conditions, Young said he was “very happy with his team’s performance.
This meet was about seeing who can do what. I had eight to nine guys within a minute of each other; the girls also stayed together nicely.”

Young subdivided the co-ed teams as evenly as possible, based on ability and made five overall teams.

Team names included Technicality, Trouble, Tenacious, Tornado and Alumni. Adam Malloy placed first for the men and Priscilla Jennings placed first for the women. Overall, team Technicality took the win with a combined time of 1:19:54.

Sophomore Zach Kelchner (left) and senior Ben Brewer run a wet race while a teammate tries to catch them. Photo by Barry Walton.
Sophomore Zach Kelchner (left) and senior Ben Brewer run a wet race while a teammate tries to catch them. Photo by Barry Walton.

The race was set up differently then the Cross Country team’s official NCAA meets. The NCAA determines the winning team based on the number of people on the team that place. The lower the placement (such as first through fifth place) for each person, the better overall points when added together for the whole team.

The Alumni Meet worked differently; the winning team was determined by taking the lowest combined time from the top three finishing women and top two men.

The team is now focusing on their meet this Saturday, at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational in State College, PA.

The host team, Penn State, will be using their “A” team.

The Marauders are ready to accept the challenge, “this will be a good way to look at how
we are doing competing against a team like Penn State,” says Young.

Senior Priscilla Jennings (left) and junior Brittany Zuver fight it out for the top finish in the Alumni Open on Saturday. Photo by Barry Walton.
Senior Priscilla Jennings (left) and junior Brittany Zuver fight it out for the top finish in the Alumni Open on Saturday. Photo by Barry Walton.

Other teams include Columbia University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. IUP was “a little ahead of the Marauders last year, so it should be interesting to see how they compete against them this year,” Young said.

The team has been training hard for the past three weeks.

According to Young, “The older guys run an average of 100 miles per week, and older girls run an average of 60 miles per week.”

This week, because of the meet on Saturday they will be cutting down their training so that their bodies have time to rest and they are in perfect shape for Saturday.

The Alumni meet was a “good determinant for how the season will progress,” Young said.

The Alumni Meet along with the meet next Saturday in Penn State will be the “measuring stick for the season,” according to Young.

With a strong team and standouts like Malloy and Jennings, the Marauders are on path for a successful season.