Centreville, Va. - Freshman Alex Leuchanka and sophomore Ada Lauterbach led the UAlbany cross country teams to top-five finishes at the George Mason Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Bull Run Park. The men's team placed fourth among 10 teams, while the women were fifth among nine schools. Virginia's nationally-ranked programs swept the team titles for the second straight year.
The Cavalier men, tabbed 14th in the country by the USTFCCCA earlier in the week, claimed the team championship by 13 points over Columbia, an Ivy League power which was among the schools receiving votes in the organization's national poll. George Mason, which has been ranked as high as 14th in the Southeast Region this fall, placed third in the competitive field. Emil Heineking of Virginia won the individual title for navigating the 8,000-meter course in 24:37.
Leuchanka, the 2008 New York State Cross Country Federation champion on the scholastic level, finished 13th among 109 runners in a time of 25:26 to lead UAlbany. The mark was a 17-second improvement from his time at the America East Conference Pre-Championship three weeks ago. Redshirt freshman Paul Lagno placed second on the squad and 27th in the field in 26:10. He was followed by freshman Craig Weiss, who was 37th in 26:42. Rounding out the top five for the Great Danes, who only finished behind schools which were regionally or nationally ranked at some point this season, were junior David Rothman (40th, 26:57) and sophomore Jack Kelley (42nd, 26:59).
The Virginia women, ranked 19th nationally, completed the sweep of the team titles by edging No. 11 Georgetown by one point. Columbia, which was tabbed fifth in the Northeast Region by the USTFCCCA, placed third. Virginia's Catherine White, who completed the course in 20:41, won the individual title.
Lauterbach, who was running a 6,000-meter circuit for only the second time of her career, finished 21st in 22:44 to pace the UAlbany women. Freshman Miranda McConnell finished second on the squad for the second straight meet in 23:11, which was good for 29th overall in the field of 86 competitors. Junior Jenn Pierson (35th, 23:31), freshman Mikala Anson (39th, 23:40) and classmate Melissa Del Rosario (43rd, 23:46) completed the team's top five.
The Great Dane harriers return to action on Saturday, Oct. 17 to host the 43rd UAlbany Invitational on the University Campus Course. The Bobbi Palma Women's Championship Race, a 5,000-meter event, begins at 10:05 a.m. The R.K. Munsey Men's Championship Race, an 8,000-meter circuit, starts at 10:40 a.m.
George Mason Invitational Men's Team Standings (8k)
1. Virginia 21 points; 2. Columbia 34 points; 3. George Mason 85 points; 4. UAlbany 119 points; 5. UNC-Wilmington 151 points; 6. American 190 points; 7. Howard 216 points; 8. Washington & Lee 233 points; 9. Christopher Newport 247 points; 10. Virginia Commonwealth 283 points.
Individual Champion: Emil Heineking, Virginia, 24:37.
UAlbany Finishers: 13. Alex Leuchanka 25:26; 27. Paul Lagno 26:10; 37. Craig Weiss 26:42; 40. David Rothman 26:57; 42. Jack Kelley 26:59; 46. Chris Manico 27:13; 50. Sean Halpin 27:18.
George Mason Invitational Women's Team Standings (6k)
1. Virginia 30 points; 2. Georgetown 31 points; 3. Columbia 72 points; 4. UNC-Wilmington 139 points; 5. UAlbany 145 points; 6. George Mason 178 points; T-7. Christopher Newport 206 points; T-7. American 206 points; 9. Howard 258 points.
Individual Champion: Catherine White, Virginia, 20:41.
UAlbany Finishers: 21. Ada Lauterbach 22:44; 29. Miranda McConnell 23:11; 35. Jenn Pierson 23:31; 39. Mikala Anson 23:40; 43. Melissa Del Rosario 23:46; 52. Ally Panos 24:38; 61. Emily Finnegan 25:28.
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information