Cross country teams fare well at QU Invitational

Melissa Moller

The Quinnipiac men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the annual Quinnipiac Invitational tournament on Fri., Sept. 23. The women’s team kicked off its race at 4:30 p.m. on the athletic fields, with high energy pushing them to a first-place finish.

Senior Katie Gwyther, the NEC’s Athlete of the Week, and all-time record holder the Quinnipiac Invitational, started off the race with a promising lead. She passed the first checkpoint well ahead of Boston College’s top runner. The Quinnipiac team, more spread out than the other competitors, ended the race with four girls placing in the top ten.

Gwyther crossed the finish line with no one in sight, showing the same level of speed and determination she started with. Gwyther won with a time of 17:04.8, shattering the 18:03.5 women’s record for this event, which she previously held.

“It’s been an awesome trip,” Gwyther said. “Winning as a team far surpassed winning as an individual. This is a huge confidence booster going into the next race.”

Coach Shawn Green said he could not have been happier with the performance of the women’s team.

“We haven’t won this event in a couple of years,” Green said. “I’m excited four runners placed in the top ten and six women finished under 20 minutes which is a benchmark for this early in the season.”

The men’s race started with a high level of anticipation as well, with the men clapping hands and pumping up the team which set the adrenaline rush for the race. Hartford’s top runner began the race in the lead, with the Quinnipiac pack not far behind. The Bobcats initially started off running close together, something that Green had hoped would be this season’s advantage.

At one of the checkpoints, the pack of QU men rounded out in the lead, exciting on- lookers and fans. The first runner to cross the finish line was Stony Brook’s Shaun Krawitz, and coming in third was Quinnipiac’s Jacob Gurzler, with a time of 26:58.6.

The team placed three runners in the top ten, including Gurzler, Matt Warren, who placed eighth, and Terrence Moriarty, who placed ninth. As a team, Quinnipiac finished behind Columbia in second-place.

“We ran together as a pack, which I think is a good thing – it allows us to push each other along,” said junior Steve Begley. “The problem with our race was when Columbia made their move, we didn’t respond as well as we usually do.”