The Georgetown men’s and women’s cross country teams travelled to State College, Pa., last weekend to compete in the Penn State National Open, where the men finished the 5.2-mile race in fifth place, while the women finished the six-kilometer race in 13th place.
Junior Paige Hofstad led the women’s team and finished 11th overall in the six-kilometer race with a time of 20:57.
Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Julie Culley said Hofstad has the ability to improve her performance even further by her final meet of the regular season.
“Paige’s performance at Penn State was good, but she knows she can be even further up in these races,” Culley said in an interview with The Hoya. “She will continue to build upon the regular season races as we head into the postseason.”
Junior Margie Cullen followed behind Hofstad, finishing in 43rd place with a time of 21:22.
Freshman Katie Dammer, freshman Katherine Modrall and junior Meg Mathison rounded out the top five finishers for Georgetown.
Dammer, Modrall and Mathison, like Hofstad, are capable of earning higher finishes as Georgetown heads into its postseason schedule, according to Culley.
“Finishing within 10 seconds of each other is a fantastic improvement after [our last race in] Wisconsin, but we need to have those same three runners further up in the field in order to perform at the level they are capable of and what their workouts indicate they are ready for,” Culley said.
On the men’s side, junior Jack Van Scoter and senior Nick Wareham ran strong races, recording the same time of 25:21 and earning the 14th and 15th overall spots.
Men’s Cross Country Head Coach Brandon Bonsey was impressed with the team’s efforts, but knows there is still potential to improve.
“Jack and Nick are very talented and they have trained well,” Bonsey said in an interview with The Hoya. “They did a good job at Penn State, but there’s a lot more in the tank there and I think they should continue to get better as we move on in the season.”
The remaining men’s runners who placed in the top five for the Hoyas finished within four seconds of each other. Junior Matthew Bouthillette followed Scoter and Wareham, finishing with a time of 26:04. The next two runners were not far behind, as senior Adam Barnard came in at 26:07 and freshman Rusty Kujdych recorded a time of 26:08.
The men’s team was missing two of its top runners this past weekend, graduate student Christian Liddell and senior Spencer Brown, who will be returning for the team’s next race.
Bonsey said the Hoyas must close the gap behind their top finishers, Scooter and Wareham.
“We need to get the 3-5 runners closer to where Jack and Nick are,” Bonsey said. “We had a 40 second gap from where Nick finished to where Matt, our number three guy, finished. We have to close that down, and obviously adding in Spencer and Christian will help with that a lot. I am confident they will be a lot closer when we line up at the Big East meet.”
The men’s and women’s teams will next race at the Big East Championships on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis, Ind.