XC Travels to Leopard Invitational

Oct. 18, 2013

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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Saturday will mark the final test for the Seton Hall cross country teams prior to the 2013 BIG EAST Championship as the Pirates will head to Easton, Pa. to take the course at the Leopard Invitational hosted by Lafayette.

The meet will be the sixth of the season for both the men’s and women’s squads as SHU has combined to post seven runner-up team finishes to this point in this season. Seton Hall is coming off a trip to the Metropolitan Championships last weekend, an event that saw two distinct storylines unfold between the respective teams.

For the women, the narrative continued to center around consistency at the top as The Hall completed the 5K event with the exact same top-three performers it has had in all five meets this fall.

Team captains Nyala Eddings (Chicago, Ill.) and Mary Migton (Ledgewood, N.J.) recorded a pair of top-25 finishes in a 124-competitor field that featured many of the best teams in the region, finishing back-to-back for the fifth time this season. Eddings led the way in 22nd-place overall while Migton recorded her best 5K time of the year to finish 23rd.

Freshman Desyre Blackburn (Aloha, Ore.) has come on and provided tremendous support for the tandem at the top of the lineup, finishing third on the squad in each of her first five career meets. In her first trip to the famed Van Cortlandt Park, Blackburn improved upon the 5K time of 20:41.00 she turned in on the typically fast course at the Cappy Anderson Invitational the meet before.

The team’s third tri-captain, senior Kristen May (Shrewsbury, Mass.), reentered the scoring group for the third time this season by placing fourth on the squad while sophomore Amanda Catherall (Farmingdale, N.Y.) followed up her first-ever scoring effort with another fifth-place finish on the team, this time on a much bigger stage.

The SHU women placed seventh out of 12 teams at the meet but were only 10 points shy of sixth place and finished 15 points ahead of rival St. John’s, the only other BIG EAST team that competed.

The Seton Hall men went into the Mets riding a streak of four-consecutive second-place team finishes and behind standout performances from four freshmen; came away with an eighth-place effort.

Sean Kip (Union, N.J.) led the squad for the first time in his young career, joining classmate Victor Ricci (Narragansett, R.I.) and sophomore Ryan Flannery (Forked River, N.J.) as the three Pirates who have done so this season.

Kip was directly followed across the finish by another freshman in Cameron Quisenberry (Owensboro, Ky.) who crossed just over a second later in 28:00.30, picking up a season-best second-place team finish and placing 42nd overall.

Quisenberry and Ricci have been the squad’s most reliable performers, scoring in all five meets. Flannery and Kip have each scored in four, as has senior Carl Johnston (Surrey, British Columbia) who finished third on the squad and 59th overall last Saturday.

Ricci was fourth among all Pirates while fellow newcomer Alex Mallue (Canton, Ohio) rounded out the scoring group, cracking the team’s top-five for the second time this season and the first since his collegiate debut at the Monmouth XC Kickoff.

In 2012, both the Seton Hall men and women placed ninth at the Leopard Invitational with Migton (37th-place) and Johnston (54th-place) standing as the top returning individual finishers from a year ago.   

The men will tackle a 5-mile course while the women will run a 6K course that will be their longest trek to this point in the season.

A course map is available through the link above. Start-time is set for 10:00 a.m.