Underclassmen Shine as MXC Finishes Second

Sep 7, 2013

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OAKDALE, N.Y. - A trio of fresh faces delivered standout performances for the Seton Hall men's cross country team at the St. John's-Hofstra Invitational, helping lift the team to a second-straight runner-up team finish on Saturday morning in Oakdale.

The team's group of top-four performers was comprised entirely of underclassmen - three of whom were competing collegiately for just the second time ever - as the Pirates posted a total of 48 points, finishing only seven points behind meet winners Manhattan.

As with the women's team, the SHU men were led by the same three runners that finished atop the team rankings at last week's opener in Monmouth with freshman Victor Ricci (Narragansett, R.I.) again finishing at the head of the pack.

Ricci posted a 5K time of 15:46.20 to finish fourth among all Division I attendees - his second top-four individual effort in as many outings.

Sophomore captain Ryan Flannery (Forked River, N.J.) who helped jumpstart the team's improvement with his development throughout his freshman year placed sixth in the division; recording a final mark of 15:56.30 that was more than 1:40 faster than his lone 5K time in competition a year ago.

On his heels was another freshman in Cameron Quisenberry (Owensboro, Ky.) who finished in 15:59 flat, just two spots behind Flannery. Through two meets, the Bluegrass State product has shown he is comfortable navigating green grass and more on the course, placing third on the squad on both occasions.

After finishing just outside the scoring group in his collegiate debut a week ago, newcomer Sean Kip (Union, N.J.) found another gear on Saturday and recorded a time of 16:12.50 that ranked 12th-best among Division I competitors on the day.

Kip's 12-point effort put the SHU men squarely in contention for a team victory as the Pirates were just two points behind the Jaspers through four finishers for each team.

Junior Tyler Orner (Sinking Spring, Pa.) who has been a steady presence for The Hall over his first two seasons scored for the first time in 2013; placing 18th in the division (16:38.70) to give the Pirates a final score of 48 but MC's fifth finisher had crossed five spots earlier.

Walter Grosenheider (Madison, Wisc.) completed the race slightly under four seconds after Orner (16:42.40), picking up his second-straight top-20 individual finish in the process.

Senior captain Carl Johnston (Surrey, British Columbia) and yet another freshman in Bob Knee (Indian Wells, Calif.) finished within six seconds of each other around the 17-minute mark, turning in times of 16:56.00 and 17:01.20 respectively.

By comparison, SHU had only one male team member post a sub-17 minute 5K time in 2012 - senior Jared Hanko who led the squad at the Hofstra Brick Stone Run with a time of 16:35.40.

With two second-place performances already under their belt, the Pirates will look to take another step towards besting last year's mark of three top-two team finishes when they travel to Newark, Del. next Saturday, September 14 for the Delaware Invitational.

Start-time for the men is slated for 11:15 a.m.