Cross Country, Sports

Both XC teams sport individual winners, lose to FSU

<strong>Men's XC</strong>

In the second race of the 2010 season, the America East Pre-Championship, the Boston University men's cross country team was bested by No. 23 Florida State University by a score of 31-20 at Franklin Park Sunday.

The team previously raced at the Boston College Invitational on Sept. 11 and placed fourth out of nine teams, but the Terriers chose to rest their top seven runners.

"The guys ran quite well," said BU coach Bruce Lehane. "The heat got to them a little bit, but by and large, they performed at a pretty strong level. All in all it was a promising start."

BU senior Eric Ashe paced the rest of the runners with his 24:30 first-place finish in the 8,000-meter race while junior Robert Gibson's eighth-place finish in 25:06 beat fellow junior Peter Gilmore by "half a second," Gilmore said.

Ashe's first-place finish was a "real nice win for him," Lehane said. "He continues to evolve as a runner."

Ashe was also content with his performance, giving it a rating of eight&amp;-and-a-half out of 10, but the senior noted that he expects to build on it as the season goes on.

"That's what I expected to run," Ashe said. "It was definitely satisfactory, but going forward I can definitely improve on that. I didn't feel fast and that's something we work on as the season goes on. Right now I feel strong but not quite fast. For Sept. 19, it was a good run."

BU's top five was rounded out by junior Matt Paulson, who finished 10th in 25:11, and senior Ken Haltom, who finished 13th in 25:55.

The AE Pre-Championship was Paulson's first race back after not participating in cross country in either of his first years at BU.

"It was a very nice way to reinsert himself after being away from the sport," Lehane said. "That is an indication that there are better things ahead for him."

"[The race] was definitely good," Gilmore said, despite the overall team loss. "We have some work to do as always, but it's a good point to start at, anyway."

Ashe concurred, saying that the 11-point margin of victory for FSU was quite deceiving.

"We kept it close," Ashe said. "The score makes it seem like a blowout, but our guys were close behind them."

The AE Pre-Championship was just the first of three home meets for the Terriers, who are thankful for the home-course advantage.

"It does help us a lot," Gilmore said. "It's nice to know exactly how much you have left and to know where the next hill is. It's nice to know where you're going. It makes you more comfortable."

The Terriers train at Franklin Park regularly, which likely helps the team's pre-meet habit. Gilmore said the team tries to "keep everybody calm and just relax" at every meet, including the one against FSU this weekend.

The team's next race is not for three more weeks, when they return to Franklin Park as one of 42 men's teams competing for the New England Championship on Oct. 9, but Ashe said this race is a solid base for what the team hopes is a successful season.

"This is just a starting point for the entire season," Ashe said. "We know where we're at, and we can all improve on that going forward."

<strong>Women's XC</strong>

The Boston University women's cross country team came away with the individual winner but not the overall win in their dual meet against No. 2 Florida State University at the America East Pre-Championship on Sunday in Franklin Park. The Terriers fell to the Seminoles by a score of 37-23.

"The race was definitely a positive training step for our season," said senior Kathleen Davies, who came in first place for the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:48.

"It was nice to run without all the hype and so much pressure," she said.

Although Davies was pleased with her performance, she believes there is room for improvement.

"I know I want to improve my time," Davies said. "My time didn't improve this week because we took a more relaxed approach. Next week, I am definitely looking to get a better time."

Freshman Rosa Moriello was a part of the lead pack and finished fourth.

"I feel like I ran pretty well," Moriello said. "It was good to get a feel for what it is like to be up in the front more. Each meet I want to stay with Kathleen a little more."

Rounding out the top runners for the team was 16th-placed sophomore Breeanna Potter, 17th-placed junior Madeline Steiner and 18th-placed sophomore Nikki Long.

Despite the loss to the Seminoles, BU coach Bruce Lehane stressed that his center of attention was his own team, not its opponents.

"It is key for us to focus on our runners," said Lehane.

FSU, which came in second place in the NCAA Cross Country Championships last November, was strong competition for the Terriers. Thus, despite the loss, Lehane was pleased with the results of the meet.

"I think we made a little bit of progress," Lehane said. "The team did a lot better than in the opener. We're going in the right direction. It was a tough meet given the quality of the competition."

Lehane was proud of the significant decreases in the times of Steiner, junior Anna Lukes, sophomore Danielle Bowen and especially junior Mariko Takahashi. Takahashi shaved 47 seconds off her time from the previous meet.

"Kathleen Davies and Rosa Moriello handled the situation very well," Lehane said. "A couple of the girls picked up their times significantly. Overall the team ran very cohesively."

"It was fun for all the girls to get exposure to such a good team," Davies said. "Everyone made a really good effort with the situation we had."

The top-finishing Terrier in the team's first meet, Katie Matthews, did not run on Sunday due to hip soreness earlier in the week. Lehane gave Matthews the week off to rest and said he believed she will be back soon.

The team as a whole is constantly looking to improve themselves in future meets.

"On Oct. 9 we will hope to get all our runners in under 19 minutes and hopefully get a few people down closer to 18 minutes," Lehane said. "I think it's something we can do. We'll need to step it up a bit to get there."

BU is back in action on Oct. 9th at the New England Championship.</p>

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