By Samuel Brouwere
The Griffs’ Cross Country team has started off their season on the right track at the Little Three Championship, as both the men’s and women’s teams finished in first place over rivals Niagara and St. Bonaventure.
The men’s team finished in first place with a team score of 15. The Niagara Purple Eagles finished in second place with a score of 54 and the St. Bonaventure Bonnies finished in third with a score of 74. The Griffs were also able to have the top seven finishes in the race. Coach Nate Huckle spoke to the success of the men’s team when he said, “We really continued the success that we’ve had over the last ten years by winning our 11th in a row. It was a fairly convincing performance. We put seven runners in before the next competitor from either Niagara or St. Bonaventure. So, it was an excellent showing for us in our first race of the year.”
Senior Brennan Root finished in first place in with a time of (15:34.0). Freshman Donovan Glavin was able to take the second place for the Griffs with a time of (15:36.1). Glavin gave his thoughts on placing second saying, “It was definitely a good performance on my end. I just went out there and stuck with the front group, two seniors that I thought were better than I was, but Brennan ending up being ahead of me. It was a team effort for the first two miles and I couldn’t have done it without the other two.”
The women’s team finished in first place with a team score of 15. The Bonnies finished in second place with a score of 60 and the Purple Eagles finished with a score of 65. The Griffs were able to have the top eight finishes of the race.
Sophomore Siobhan Quinn finished in first place with a total time of (18:10.7). Quinn’s thoughts on winning her race were, “Well, it was awesome.” She continued, “Last year, I also placed first, but there was a Bonaventure girl who was a senior and she had previously won it all of her previous three years. At this race we weren’t really expecting any seriously intense competition, but it was still a good confidence booster and still exciting to look forward to more competitive races.”
Junior Carlin Sullivan finished in second place with a time of (18:52.7) and senior Anna Phillips finished in third place with a time of (19:06.1).
The Griffs should be feeling confident after such a big win. Coach Huckle spoke to the confidence level of the team when he said, “Very high. It’s very high moving forward and that’s very important because with running, 90 percent of your success is based off of your mental state. So going into the larger competitions now with the National Catholic Race out of Notre Dame and the Paul Short Invitational, our athletes are feeling like they’re fit and they’re ready to race against some greater competition.”
The Griffs have two upcoming meets next weekend. The top 15 runners will be competing at the National Catholic Championships at Notre Dame, whereas the other members of the team will be competing at the UB Stampede held at Beaver Island State Park in Grand Island, N.Y. “We’re hitting two hard weeks of training,” said Huckle. “We’ve got a weekend off this week, so we’re taking advantage of it and hitting two very solid workouts this week and a lesser workout next Tuesday as we’re heading into National Catholic. We’ll use these two weeks to boost their fitness to another level before we step on the course again.”
At the National Catholic Championships, the Griffs will be relying on some very important runners to perform well. One runner for the women’s team is Siobhan Quinn. She didn’t participate in the race last year, but she will definitely be a runner that will compete greatly in the race. Quinn expressed that she had some individual goals in this upcoming race. “Last year, I didn’t race at National Catholic because my brother had a wedding, so I’m really excited this year to race there and see what I can do there,” she said. “Hopefully, [I’ll be] somewhere really close to the top; we’ll have to see.”
Overall, the Griffs are coming off a strong meet and appear to be in the right set of mind as they go into their next meet.