By Sam Brouwere
The Griffs’ Cross Country team had another solid outing last weekend, as the team traveled to Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana to compete in the National Catholic Championships and traveled to Beaver Island State Park in Grand Island, New York to compete in the UB Stampede.
At the National Catholic Championships, the men’s team finished in fifth place out of 11 teams in the Five Mile Run Championship with a team score of 122. The St. Louis Billikens finished in first place with a team score of 52. The women’s team finished in eighth place out of 11 teams in the Women’s 5000 Meter Championship with a team score of 167. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish would ultimately finish in first place with a team score of 31.
Coach Nate Huckle spoke to the performance of both teams when he said, “I thought both teams ran solid races.” He continued, “They were both in the top 10 for the Division I teams. Overall, the women improved one spot from last year, so that was solid. I would have liked to see both teams up inside the top five a little farther, as I think that they both have that potential. Overall, it was a good way for us to be introduced to some really solid competition. It was very deep races on both sides this year and I thought we walked away with respectable performances.”
For the Griffs’ men’s team, freshman Donavan Glavin finished in seventh place with a time of 25:39.1. Glavin has surely already had a good amount of success in his first year, as he had finished in second place in the prior meet. Coach Huckle’s thoughts on Glavin’s early success were, “Donny (Glavin) is a really great competitor and is a really great athlete. The reason why we recruited him last year is because he was one of the top runners in New York State. He made it to the Nike National Championships for Cross Country. So anybody who can qualify for the Nike National and compete at that level is going to have an immediate impact for your program, even at the Division I level. He’s only 17 years old, he’s a young college freshman, so I think he has got a great potential for the future once he gets a little stronger. He only ran about 35-40 miles a week in high school, which is pretty low mileage, and now he is up to about 60 miles a week, so we doubled his weekly mileage and once his strength matches up with his talent, he will be an exceptional athlete.”
Senior Brennan Root finished in eighth place for the Griffs with a time of (25:40.6). Root continued his success in this meet after finishing first in the prior meet. Senior Xavier Sauvageau finished in 30th place with a time of (26:25.6) and freshman Anthony Belfatto finished in 35th place with a time of (26:37.7). Ben Kendell finished in first place with a time of (25:06.8) for the Detroit Titans.
For the Griffs’ women’s team, sophomore Siobhan Quinn finished in eighth place with a team of (18:00.4). Quinn continued her success in this meet after finishing first in the prior meet. Junior Carlin Sullivan finished in 19th place with a time of (18:34.5) and junior Anna Phillips finished in 36th place with a time of (18:56.3). Annie Heffernan finished in first place with a time of (17:22.1) for the Fighting Irish. The Fighting Irish had four runners finish in the top 10.
At the UB Stampede, the men’s team had five athletes compete and finished in seventh place with a total team score of 218. The women’s team had three athletes compete and didn’t have enough athletes to qualify for team scoring. Coach Huckle thoughts on the meet were, “The UB Stampede was really just for the people that didn’t qualify for National Catholic, so we weren’t really going to UB with any performance expectations. We weren’t trying to score as a team or anything like that. It was really a non-competition for us… There is no real comment there. It’s just getting people an opportunity to race.”
To this point, the Griffs have competed in only three meets. When asked if there was anything that he would like his team to improve on, Coach Huckle said, “Yeah, I think we really need to focus on being engaged in races more and the overall time and place less. I think that is one of the things that we are working on this year is really improving the process of racing and not really worrying about the end product as much because if you take care of the process and really engage in the race, the end product will then take care of itself.”
The Griffs still have five meets left to compete in, but are starting to perform very well as of late, which will help them as they continue their season.