Emerson XC takes second at Runnin’ Monks 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

The Emerson cross country teams finished as runner-ups at the Runnin’ Monks Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 8. 

The men’s team crushed the rolling hills of Standish, ME with a total team time of 2:29:48 and an average 8K of 29:57. Senior Captain Oliver Glass placed 8th out of a 43-man heat, running a 29:01 8K for a mile split of 05:50. While Glass hoped to finish sub-29 minutes, he was still satisfied with his performance.

“It was a good one in that it went relatively fast,” he said. “I wanted to stay under control because I knew that we were going to run a lot of hills in the second half of the race.”

The Runnin’ Monks course was rife with steep hills and smaller fields, which broke up the packs and left many athletes to pace themselves.

 “I was running by myself for a good amount of it, so I had to make sure I didn’t lose focus,” Glass said.

The underclassmen also had noticeable performances, with first-years John Lanza and Josh Frazel coming in 12th and 14th, with an 8K of 29:21 and 29:58 respectively. Lanza had broken his previous 8K personal record by nearly 30 seconds at the meet.

“It was a great race for him,” Glass added. “It was a great race for Josh, too.”

The invitational was Frazel’s first meet of the season after being sidelined due to an injury. Despite this, he was able to hang with the top 15 of the race. As their captain, Glass couldn’t be more proud of his teammates.

“I’ve been really impressed just by their mentality coming into the season,” he said. “They’re young, but they’re super eager. They’ve been really getting after it on the workouts and we’ve been having a lot of great productive competitiveness.”

The women’s team also came out ahead of the competition, amassing a 2:30:02 total time and a speedy 6k average of 30:00. Sophomore Samanta Zannotti blazed ahead of the entire heat, placing 1st out of the 29-athletes with a lightning-quick 29:57. First-year Olivia Kardos was close behind in 4th place, running 27:01.

“I’m really proud of them,” said Senior Captain Paige Thimmesch. “[Sam] is always a hard worker […] when it comes to Olivia, she’s really good at staying in that pack. I really enjoy her work ethic where she just puts her head down and does it.”

The Lions’ results were hard earned in the Boston Common, where Head Coach Brandon Fox prepared them for the high physicality of the Runnin’ Monks hills.

“We’ve been doing a lot of high-volume workouts […] we’ve just been getting a lot of mileage,” Thimmesch said. “I haven’t seen Fox do that yet, where he does 800s, and 1600s at a very fast pace. [We’ll go at a] 5k pace, or a 10k pace and jog in-between, so we’re constantly moving.”

“We did a high volume of work,” Fox added. “I was happy to see that the work paid off, for both men’s and women’s [teams].”

The Lions’ next challenge will come this Saturday at the Suffolk Invitational at Boston’s Franklin Park. With a greater depth of teams and talent at the Invitational, Fox believes the meet will be a good indicator of where the Lions stack up at the regional level. 

“We’re gonna test the waters and see what happens,” Fox said. “Once we come back from Suffolk, we got our eyes set on the conferences, maintaining fitness, getting faster, and really testing the limits of what we can do.”