Saturday, September 18, 2010

UAlbany Cross Country Teams Post High Finishes Against Region's Best at Iona Meet of Champions

Bronx, N.Y. - Sophomores Alex Leuchanka and Emily Finnegan led the UAlbany cross country teams to top-seven finishes at the 16th Annual Br. John "Paddy" Doyle Meet of Champions on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Van Cortlandt Park. UAlbany's men's squad finished third among 19 teams, while the women placed seventh among 18 schools in the standings. The prestigious meet, which was being hosted by Iona, featured 10 men's teams and nine women's squads which were regionally ranked by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

La Salle captured the men's team title by finishing with 93 points, which was 15 points better than second-place Penn. UAlbany, which was recently tabbed 13th in the season's first USTFCCCA Northeast Region Poll, finished with 140 points and beat out seven regionally-ranked schools at the competition, including Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference.

Leuchanka finished first for the UAlbany men and ninth overall among 207 runners by navigating the 8,000-meter circuit in 25:26.84. He was closely followed by Paul Lagno, who was 13th in 25:35. Chris Burke (26th, 25:59.62), Ethan Clary (36th, 26:10) and R.J. Sniffen (57th, 26:21) completed the team's top five.

Kentucky edged out Brown by two points and La Salle by three points to claim the women's team crown. The Wildcats registered 62 points by producing the individual champion, Chelsea Oswald, and four of the top-14 finishers at the meet. UAlbany, which posted 177 points, only finished behind schools that were regionally ranked in the USTFCCCA polls.

Finnegan paced the Great Dane women for the second straight meet by completing the 6,000-meter course in 22:46.42, placing 21st among 164 competitors. Kathryn Fanning, a freshman who began running cross country as a senior in high school, was second on the squad and 31st overall in 23:05.31. Jenn Pierson (38th, 23:22.30), Miranda McConnell (42nd, 23:28.78) and Brianna Service (23:33.49) completed the team's top five.

The Great Danes will have the next weekend off and return to action on Saturday, Oct. 2 to compete at the George Mason Invitational at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va.

Paw Prints:

The UAlbany men were tabbed 13th in the season's first USTFCCCA Northeast Region Poll on Sept. 13 ... The ranking is the second highest among America East schools behind No. 7 Binghamton ... Through three meets, the Great Dane men's and women's programs have only finished behind teams that are currently regionally ranked by the national organization ... Four of the top-five finishers for the UAlbany men and women at today's competition were freshmen and sophomores.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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