Sept. 21, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The Seton Hall cross country program hit the road on Friday and following their arrival in Princess Anne, Md., both teams will take to the course for the fourth Saturday in a row when they take on the field at the UMES Cappy Anderson Invitational.
Each Pirates squad placed second at the meet last season and will enter this weekend looking to build on their early-season momentum. The SHU men have been runner-ups in all three meets so far in 2013 while the women have added two second-place finishes of their own.
All indications suggest that a trip down the coast won’t slow the Seton Hall charge as last time out in Princess Anne, six-of-seven returning male runners posted their fastest 8K times of the season while eight of the 11 women who competed a year ago with season-best efforts at the 5K distance.
There are a number of trends to watch for on Saturday as heading into this, the final meet prior to the championship season; each team has been led by the same three individuals – in the same order.
Freshman Victor Ricci (Narragansett, R.I.) has led The Hall in all three weeks of competition, completing the feat at three different distances. Sophomore tri-captain Ryan Flannery (Forked River, N.J.) has been the next Pirate across the line each time and as the lone returnee who did not post a season-best performance when he last ran at UMES, will look to take full advantage of a flat course and take aim at his personal record of 27:45.65 set just seven days ago.
Freshman Cameron Quisenberry (Owensboro, Ky.) has been nothing if not steady for SHU in his first three collegiate races, placing third on the team at Monmouth, the St. John’s-Hofstra Fall Festival and last weekend’s Delaware Invitational. In his first foray on an 8K course as a Pirate, Quisenberry’s consistency will be key as Seton Hall tries to capture that elusive team victory.
Fellow newcomer Sean Kip (Union, N.J.)
has recorded the fourth-best time on the squad in each of the last two weeks while senior tri-captain Carl Johnston (Surrey, British Columbia)
returned to the scoring group for the second time this season with a 28:54.30 8K time last weekend.
Johnston is the most experienced competitor on the Pirates’ roster and boasts the second-lowest career-best 8K time (27:11.2); trailing only Ricci’s time of 27:09.13 at Delaware.
On the women’s side, senior tri-captain Nyala Eddings (Chicago, Ill.) will head to the starting line in search of her fifth-consecutive team leading effort. After emerging to pace SHU in the final meet of 2012, she has continued to stride at the front of the pack for The Hall; registering two top-six overall finishes in the process.
Junior tri-captain Mary Migton (Ledgewood, N.J.) has literally been on her heels, finishing directly behind Eddings not just for the team – but overall as well – in all three meets this season. By running well together, the pair has been able to lead the women’s squad to significantly lower team scores than a year ago. Through three meets, Eddings is averaging nine points per outing while Migton is averinging just 10.
Freshman Desyre Blackburn (Aloha, Ore.) has been undaunted by a new level of competition, unfamiliar courses and varying distances thus far in her debut campaign, posting three third-place team finishes in as many appearances.
In the attached video, you can hear Blackburn as well as Quisenberry and Ricci speak on their journeys to Seton Hall and their thoughts on the early success they have enjoyed.
Five different Pirates have contributed a fourth or fifth place team finish so far this season and with her fifth-place effort last week at Delaware, senior tri-captain Kristen May (Shrewsbury, Mass.) became the first Pirate other than the aforementioned trio to crack the scoring group more than once.
Sophomores Amanda Quaglia (Reading, Pa.) and Alex Ryan (Aurora, Colo.) join junior Allyson Guieb (Robbinsville, N.J.) and newcomer Bri Miller (Bayonne, N.J.) as the other team members that have scored in the early going.
Quaglia placed fourth on the squad last time out while Ryan finished fifth in the opener. Miller and Guieb finished fourth and fifth respectively in week two at Oakdale; scoring for the first time in their careers.
Two other Pirates have been on the cusp of placing in the team’s top-five for the first time as well as sophomore Amanda Catherall (Farmingdale, N.Y.) and freshman Tiffany Callanan (Toms River, N.J.) each has finished sixth on the squad on one occasion this season.
The Seton Hall women will be aiming to collect their third top-two team finish of 2013 after starting the season with runner-up performances in the first two races of the year.
Saturday’s competition will start with the men’s race at 10:30 a.m. followed by the women’s race at 11:15 a.m.