Emerson XC snags 10th, 15th at Suffolk Invitational

From+left+to+right%3A+Tierney+McKeown%2C+Olivia+Kardos.+Samantha+Zannotti%2C+head+coach+Brandon+Fox%2C+Samuel+Cahill%2C+Oliver+Glass%2C+Paige+Thimmesch%2C+and+Emily+Hammond.+%28Courtesy%3A+Kayla+Buck%29

From left to right: Tierney McKeown, Olivia Kardos. Samantha Zannotti, head coach Brandon Fox, Samuel Cahill, Oliver Glass, Paige Thimmesch, and Emily Hammond. (Courtesy: Kayla Buck)

By Jason Tulchin, Deputy Sports Editor

Step by step, the Emerson men’s and women’s cross country teams strode to new heights amid a large crowd of runners in the Suffolk Invitational at Franklin Park on Oct.15. 

The men’s runners finished in 10th out of 22 teams, scraping together a total time of 2:24:55 and an average 8K time of 28:59. Senior captain Oliver Glass led the Lions with a 28:10 race, finishing in 47th out of 218 runners.

“I really thought this was one of our best races of the season,” Glass said. “Considering that we got 10th in a race that featured BU and some [NCAA] Division I schools and a bunch of really good D-III schools.”

The invitational featured teams from both DI and DIII conferences including the University of New England, Boston University, and even a few non-New England teams such as the Southwestern University Pirates of Georgetown, TX. 

In second and third for the Lions were first-years Josh Fravel and John Lanza, who smashed their previous personal records. Fravel, who finished in 59th and ran 28:42, came onto the team after recovering from an injury that prevented him from running in the first two meets of the season. The invitational was his second-ever 8K. His first was at the Runnin’ Monks Invitational on Oct. 8, where he ran 29:58—a time he smashed by over a minute at Suffolk.

Lanza’s 28:54 PR was his second in a row, following a 29:21 at Runnin’ Monks last week.

Glass had high praise for the entire men’s top five, all of whom finished within two minutes of each other. Glass, Fravel, Lanza, and sophomore Sam Cahilll (29:26) and Joe Norris (29:42) made up the Lions’ top five.

“It was like a minute-40 gap between first and fifth,” Glass said. “And that’s what we’re looking for.”

The women’s team also put on an impressive performance in the 6K, finishing 15th and running 2:26:58 total. Sophomore Sam Zannotti was the first Lion on the women’s team to cross the finish line with a 25:18 6K, placing 30th.

“I know Sam was chasing the top runners at the Suffolk Invitational,” said senior captain Paige Thimmesch. “I think she did a very great job […] she’s a very competitive person.”

Following Zannotti was first-year Olivia Kardos and sophomore Tierney McKeown, who finished in 49th and 99th, running 26:25 and 29:30, respectively.

“Olivia always does an amazing job, she really knows how to keep up with Sam,” Thimmesch said.“Tierney did an amazing job as well, this was her first time running this race. It’s a little hard [for her] because there was a gap between Sam, Olivia, and Tierney, but I think Tierney can definitely close that.”

In fourth was first-year NaLea Curiel, who finished in 133rd with a 6K of 32:25— breaking her previous record of 33:48 by almost a minute and a half. It was also her first time running the race.

The Lions have a serious challenge in the form of the NEWMAC Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29.

“We’re certainly chasing Wheaton College,” Glass said. “We’re looking to [chase Wheaton] and compete with some of the teams above them, like Babson and Coast Guard. I think we have a chance to be really competitive.”