KUTZTOWN, Pa. – In their first official meet of the 2019 season, the Wilmington University men's cross country team finished eighth overall, with the women finishing 13th at the 2019 Division II/III Cross Country Challenged hosted by Kutztown on Saturday afternoon.
Facing 13 teams that included schools throughout DII and DIII level, the men collected 208 points to finish eighth overall. The women would collect a total of 360 points to finish 13th against schools including, Malone, West Chester, Jefferson, So. Conn. St., and Lock Haven.
The men were led by sophomore Brandon Cruz who ran the 8K in 27:12.2 to finish 30th out of 133 runners. Freshman Logan Strouse ran a 27:21.9 in his first collegiate race to finish right behind Cruz in 36th place.
Shannon Dooley also made his collegiate debut as he finished 48th overall with a time of 27:50.9, while James Kennedy finished three spots behind him in 51st place with a time of 27:52.1. Michael Dowd and Garret Checchi rounded out the men, finishing 60th and 78th overall.
Stonehill's Lucas Taxter won the 8K in a time of 25:50.5 for the men, but Malone would take first place as a team finishing with 41 points.
For the women, freshman Annabel Cortez led the Wildcats with a time of 25:33.1 to finish 55th out of 159 runners. Ally Kelly raced a 26:22.3 for a 72nd place finish, as Julia Merritt finished right behind her in 74th place with a time of 26:25.2. Sophomore Rosemary Gilliam raced for a 79th place finish with a time of 27:03.1, while other sophomore Grace Slate finished a second later with a time of 27:04.0.
Malone's Hannah Thompson would finish atop of the women's 8K with a time of 22:25.1, helping her team to a first place finish with 41 points.
The Wildcats will have 13 days off to prepare for their next meet, which will be on Saturday, September 28 at the Capital Cross Challenge where they will travel out to Sacramento, California. The men's race will begin at 9:50 a.m. followed by the women at 10:30 a.m.