Sept. 13, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Riding the momentum of a strong early-season start, The Seton Hall cross country program heads to “The First State” this weekend to take on the field at the Delaware Invitational.
Saturday’s event will feature a step up in distance for both the men’s and women’s squads as both teams will tackle the longest course they have faced to this point in the season. After competing in two 4K events to start the year, the women will enter the 6K race while the men will run the 8K course after beginning with 6,000 meters at Monmouth and 5,000 meters at last weekend’s St. John’s-Hofstra Fall Festival.
So far in 2013, the Seton Hall women have been paced by the duo of Nyala Eddings (Chicago, Ill.) and Mary Migton (Ledgewood, N.J.). Two of the Pirates’ three captains, they have been running well together; finishing back-to-back in both outings – each time in the top-10. Last week, Eddings and Migton placed third and fourth respectively among Division I runners to help the team finish within six points of scoring a victory.
Freshman Desyre Blackburn (Aloha, Ore.) has acclimated well to competing at the collegiate level and through her first two performances, has provided the team with a huge boost as she has placed in the top-15 overall and among the top-three on the team in each of the first two weeks.
In Oakdale, N.Y. six days ago, two Pirates came away with their first-ever scoring times as sophomore newcomer Bri Miller (Bayonne, N.J.) ranked fourth on the team in her second-career meet and junior Allyson Guieb (Robbinsville, N.J.), who competed on a limited basis as a sophomore, placed fifth for SHU. Their efforts were a continuation of the improved pace they each displayed in the season opener as they both narrowly missed out on scoring for the team at Monmouth as well.
Looking to follow in the footsteps of Miller and Guieb and crack the scoring group for the first time this weekend at Delaware will be sophomore Amanda Catherall (Farmingdale, N.Y.)
. A steady competitor for The Hall as a freshman, Catherall finished sixth on the squad in Oakdale.
Seven Pirates have scored for the women through two meets as senior tri-captain Kristen May (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Alex Ryan (Aurora, Colo.) rounded out the team’s top-five two weeks ago in West Long Branch.
On the men’s side, the script has been similar to that of the women as the team has posted an identical top-three in both outings this season followed by four more team members with one scoring effort apiece.
At the front has been freshman Victor Ricci (Narragansett, R.I.) who has thoroughly impressed in his first two appearances, pacing the squad with a pair of top-five overall performances. At the St.John’s-Hofstra event, he finished 11 seconds off of the winning time and heads into Delaware in search of a third-straight team-leading effort.
Sophomore tri-captain Ryan Flannery (Forked River, N.J.) has continued to build upon the steady improvement he showed during his first season, placing second on the team twice so far this year. He helped the squad finish just one point shy of a team victory at Monmouth with a 6K time of 19:47.30 that was fourth-best overall and for an encore, finished sixth in Division I last time out.
Fellow underclassman Cameron Quissenberry (Owensboro, Ky.) has quickly established himself as one of the team’s leaders on the course, ranking third on the team in each of his first two races in blue & white. He opened his career by coming in under the 16-miniute mark at the Monmouth 5K event and already has a pair of top-eight overall finishes under his belt.
Splitting the remaining four scoring efforts so far in 2013 has been a couple of new faces in freshmen Sean Kip (Union, N.J.) and Alex Mallue (Canton, Ohio) as well as two experienced captains in senior Carl Johnston (Surrey, British Columbia) and junior Tyler Orner (Sinking Spring, Pa.).
Kip and Orner are coming off a 4-5 finish for the team in Oakdale while Mallue (fourth) and Johnston (fifth) rounded out the scoring contingent in the team’s season debut.
On the cusp of being the fourth freshman to score for the team this season is Walter Grosenheider (Madison, Wisc.) who after finishing seventh for the Pirates in his first collegiate race, placed sixth among SHU runners last week.
Recently, the three men’s team captains sat down to discuss the team’s progress and the impact that an influx of talent has had on the program. You can hear their comments in the attached video.
With matching second-place finishes in each of the first two weeks, both the men’s and women’s teams will be pushing to capture that elusive victory when they hit the course tomorrow, Saturday, September 14 in Newark, Del.
The women’s race will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the men’s start at 11:15 a.m.
For news and notes on this year’s cross country teams, follow @SHUpiratesXC on Twitter.