WASHINGTON – The American University cross country team faced the second meet of the 2018 season on Friday, traveling to Penn State to preview the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region course during the Spiked Shoe Invitational.
- The women opened the day's events with their first 6,000-meter run of the season. Senior Adriana Hooks was back in control for the Eagles, nearly tying her best season-opener for the distance with a 22:00 finish for 20th in the field.
- Freshman Clare Hernandez crossed in second for AU, making her career debut on a 6k course in 22:30 for 44th overall. Junior Arianna Lopez (22:45), senior Brianna Belo (23:25) and sophomore Shelbi Wuss (23:51) rounded out the Eagles top-five to lead the team to an eighth-place finish.
- The women outpaced Patriot League foe Navy by two points, and fell only four points shy of Pittsburgh, who entered the season ranked fifth in the USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) preseason poll for the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Senior Ben Doiron took the reins for the men after placing third on the squad during last weekend's Bison Open. He finished the 5.2-mile course in 26:43 for 22nd in the field.
- The 5.2-mile course, which will extend to 10,000-meters for the men during the regional championship meet in November, was nearly 400-meters longer than the typical 8k for the regular season.
- Senior Matthew Rainey made his return as the No. 2 finisher for AU in 26th overall (26:49) and was followed by senior Liam Purdy (27:10), who led the team during the season-opener last weekend.
- Sophomore Max Lustig (27:38) and junior Gerard D'Ambrosio III (27:45) finished out the scorers for the AU men.
HEAR FROM COACH GRAHAM
"Much improved performances by both squads this evening. We ran against not only some of the best teams in our region but in the nation as well. I'm pleased with their progress just over this week between competitions and am looking forward to the next three weeks of training for them to continue to build strength and confidence. It was exciting to have freshmen Clare Hernandez and Aidan Caggiano perform as well as they did in their first time at the greater distances. All in all a good step forward for the team."
The Eagles will take a two-week break from competition before returning on Saturday, Sept. 29, to split between the Paul Short Invitational (Bethlehem, Pa.) and the George Mason Invitational (Fairfax, Va.). For the latest on American University Cross Country, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.
WOMEN'S 6K RESULTS – 8th Place (213 Points, 18-36-43-55-61)
20. Adriana Hooks, Sr. (22:00) // 44. Clare Hernandez, Fr. (22:30) // 55. Arianna Lopez, Jr. (22:45) // 76. Brianna Belo, Sr. (23:25) // 92. Shelbi Wuss, So. (23:51) // 93. Elise Hooker, Fr. (23:52) // 96. Kassidy Ayres, Sr. (24:08) // 105. Katelyn Deibler, Jr. (24:45)
MEN'S 5.2-MILE RESULTS – 7th Place (179 Points, 21-25-33-49-51)
22. Ben Doiron, Sr. (26:43) // 26. Matthew Rainey, Sr. (26:49) // 34. Liam Purdy, Sr. (27:10) // 52. Max Lustig, So. (27:38) // 55. Gerard D'Ambrosio III, Jr. (27:45) // 56. Aidan Caggiano, Fr. (27:50) // 65. Miguel Dickenson, Fr. (28:21) // 70. Caleb Brown, Jr. (28:43) // 71. Michael Weidenbruch, Fr. (28:46)