KollegeTown recap written by Brett Haffner
Connecticut College & Rowan Inter-Regional recaps written by Hannah Thorn
KollegeTown Sports Invitational (UW-Oshkosh)
Many of the best Midwest teams took battle this past weekend at the KollegeTown Sports Invitational in Winnecone, WI. With course conditions faring much better than last year’s Pre-National mud-fest, albeit a little soft, it was a true mid-season contest for some of the top teams in the country.
For the men’s race, the field was pretty top-heavy with some of the best Midwestern individuals. Ryan Cutter (TSR #5) took the race out hard, opening up an eight second gap at 3k. He held that lead for awhile past the 5k mark, but he would ultimately come back to the pack just before 7k. After hanging back and being patient for most of the race, Nick Matteucci (TSR #11) brought the heat over the last 1000 meters to secure a seven second win over Matt Osmulski (TSR #6) and Joe Freiburger (TSR #9), with Cutter ending up 4th.
Continuing their reign after their Pre-Nats win, North Central looked pretty good in winning the meet with just 47 points. Osmulski was solid once again while Alec Beutel (TSR #13), who finished 5th in the race, is proving to be a reliable #2 option. Meanwhile, Gabe Pommier has been very consistent and continues to be an excellent supporting scorer in his own right.
The Cardinals had a 33 second top five split, putting 11 guys in the top 50 and showing us that their depth is on another level. They’ve got a lot of different guys who could be a part of the backend scoring come the postseason.
Making the trip all the way out from California, Pomona-Pitzer took 2nd with 79 points. These guys had a strong presence up-front in the early stages of the race, and were still able to hold on and run well.
Ethan Widlansky (TSR #14) was a solid low-stick for the Sagehens, ending up in 6th, just off of the lead group of guys. The rest of their guys also ran well with the remaining four scorers placing in the top 25 (which resulted in a 31 second time spread). The SCIAC meet, as well as the West Regional Championships, should be fun to watch between them and rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to see how they stack up against one another.
Wartburg (3rd), U. of Chicago (4th), and Wash. U. (5th) rounded out the top five teams in a close battle with team scores totaling 102-105-105 (with Chicago winning the tie-breaker).
Wartburg’s trio had some up and down races: Frieburger in 3rd was a positive, but Caleb Appleton in 22nd and Sam Pinkowski (TSR #8) in 28th doesn’t seem to be the best day for either of them.
U. of Chicago had a solid performance, with the nice bonus of beating Wash U. on a tie-breaker. 5th for Wash U. might seem underwhelming, but they executed their patient race-strategy very well, moving up in bunches during the race. Matteucci’s win was also a big plus, but when they reintroduce typical scorer Joe Stover to the main pack, their team score will likely get a big boost.
On the women’s side, Paige Lawler (TSR #4) is back in business! Although she took a minor defeat to a UW-Oshkosh alumnus, she dominated the rest of the D3 field, beating Carina Collet of Wartburg (TSR #6) by 21 seconds. Anastasia Tucker (TSR #9) was up there pushing the pace through 3k, but she fell back during the late stages of the race, finishing 9th.
After Lawler and Collet, Sophie Watterson (Wash U.) and Lexie Tremble (UW-Eau Claire) rounded out the top five, both finishing not too far off of Collet.
The Wash U. women proved that they’re the best of the Midwest region, defeating their two biggest regional opponents in U. of Chicago and UW-Eau Claire. The Bears put seven runners in the top 17, handily beating their regional foes 29-90-100. Sophie Watterson, Katie Snodgrass, Megan Girmscheid, and Ella Behrens all finished in the top 11, all within 12 seconds of each other. That pack will certainly have to contend with Johns Hopkins’ deadly pack come the postseason-- yet they are looking primed for success.
Both the U. of Chicago and UW-Eau Claire women’s teams ran solidly this weekend, each utilizing a similar team structure. Both teams have a reputable low-stick: Lexie Tremble for Eau Claire and Maggie Bourdeau for Chicago. Their packs were also very similar, with each team’s 3-4-5 runners all finishing between 24th & 36th place. When the regional meet rolls around, there will be an epic battle for the second auto-qualifying spot for Nationals behind Wash U...and it will likely be between these two teams.
Connecticut College Invite
On the East coast, teams were facing off at the Connecticut College Invitational. On the men’s side Williams flexed their depth and low spread to take the win over MIT, 47 to 96. Going 1-5-11-12-18 in a decent field is pretty impressive for the Ephs. They have a low spread (28 seconds for their last four scorers) and a low-stick who can give them some legitimate scoring potency. This result should give them plenty of confidence going into the latter part of the season.
Aidan Ryan (TSR #1) was truly the star of this race, taking the win in 23:56 over Danny Aschale from host school Connecticut College who finished in 24:17. Aschale leaned at the line to beat UW-Whitewater’s David Fassbender (TSR #15) by .1 of a second, with Matt Wilkinson in 4th, just a few seconds behind.
For the women, MIT picked up an impressive win over Williams and Tufts. They scored 75 points with their top five all placing in the top 30. Williams was runner-up with 103 points and Tufts was 3rd with 121 points. Just like the men from Williams the women from MIT, they accomplished their win by having a star low-stick in Izzi Gengaro who finished 2nd, and a low time spread of 27 seconds between their #2 and #5 runners.
As for individuals, it was disappointing to not see Kaitlyn Mooney (TSR #1) and Laurel Felt (TSR #6) from Coast Guard racing this past weekend as it would have been a great test for them against some other top talents. However, we did see Felt line up somewhere else this weekend (but more on that later).
With those two missing, Parley Hannan of Ithaca had a breakout race and PR’d by a minute to take the win in 20:52. Hannan was trending upwards after finishing 2nd to SUNY-Geneseo star Genny Corcoran a month ago, but this was still unexpected.
Her win gets even more impressive once you see who she beat to take the title. The aforementioned Izzi Gengaro finished 15 seconds behind her to capture 2nd. The two stars from Tufts didn’t necessarily have a bad race, it just wasn’t their best race. Danielle Page (TSR #14) finished in 3rd in 21:09 and Sabrina Gornisiewicz (TSR #10) finished in 4th in 21:15. In 5th was Sophia Gorman from Colby in 21:19. Clara Mayfield (TSR #8) from Carleton finished in 7th in 21:34, but even though it was a PR, I think we were expecting her to race better from a placement standpoint.
That’s four women that we had ranked in the top 15 who were upset by Parley Hannan.
Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle
If you weren’t at KollegeTown or the Connecticut Invitational, you were probably at the Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle. This might have been one of the best meets of the weekend, if not the year.
The men of Carnegie Mellon won the close battle against Johns Hopkins and SUNY Geneseo, with the final scorers reading 51-54-66. The CMU men won with a 21 second spread among their top five men, finishing 5-7-10-12-17. It is an impressive feat to get a smaller spread than Johns Hopkins who always flexes their incredible pack-running and great depth. They went 2-4-14-16-18 with a spread of 52 seconds to nab 2nd place.
As for individuals, it was Patrick Watson (TSR #7) from Stevenson and Jared Pangallozzi from Johns Hopkins who were the class of the field. Watson took the win in 24:00 with Pangallozzi close behind in 24:02. It seems like this was a battle until the final straightaway. Sean McAneny (TSR #3) from SUNY Geneseo had a nice day as well, finishing 3rd in 24:17. These are three men who will be challenging for All-American spots come November.
On the women’s side, it was almost overwhelming to watch Johns Hopkins flash their depth. They easily took the win with 26 points. They finished 3-4-5-6-8-12-14 and they had a 16 second spread from between their top five. In fact, they had one runner who went sub 22 and didn't even make their top seven! That is...just incredible.
Dickson put together a nice race to take 2nd with 76 points and beat 3rd place finisher SUNY Geneseo who had 116 points.
Genny Corcoran (TSR #2) from SUNY Geneseo continues to impress this season as she took the win here in 20:24, 16 seconds ahead of 2nd place finisher Isabel Cardi from Dickinson. Corcoran broke away from the field before the mile marker and never looked back. A quadruplet of runners from Johns Hopkins took the next four spots. Rebecca Grusby (TSR #12) finished as the first Blue jay in 21:04, followed by Ariel Keklak in 21:09.3, Therese Olshanki (TSR #13) also in 21:09.4, and then Sam Levy (TSR #11) in 21:11.5. Laurel Felt ran without teammate Kaitlyn Mooney and finished in 7th, right behind Levy, in 21:11.9. Another PR for Felt in what has been a breakout season for her so far.
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Just like it was for D1, this was the biggest weekend of the season so far. We saw some breakout performances, some great team wins, and some blazing fast times. Most teams will have another chance to stack their resume at their respective conference meets in two weeks.
And don't worry! Updated rankings are coming soon...