The Boston University men and women’s cross country teams hosted Brown University, LaSalle University, Marist College and Northeastern University at Franklin Park for the BU Invitational on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams had a strong showing in their first race following their impressive performances in the America East Pre-Championship races in Williston, Vt. a little over a week ago. The women’s team ended up splitting their head-to-head match-ups, defeating LaSalle, 46-16, and Marist 30-25, but unfortunately, fell to Brown and Northeastern by the slim margins of 30-26 and 31-26, respectively.
The men’s team also split their races in the meet on Sunday when they soundly defeated Northeastern, 46-17, and squeaked by Brown in a 30-29 nail-biter, but unfortunately fell to LaSalle, 39-21 and Marist, 36-23.
The women were led by proven-performer and All-American Andrea Walkonen, who captured her second victory in as many chances this season by completing the 5,000-meter course with a time of 17 minutes, 40 seconds, a dominant 50-second performance over the rest of the competition.
Finishing second for BU, and in fourth place overall, was sophomore Katie Matthews with a time of 18:32, followed by junior Kathleen Davies, who finished a mere six seconds after Matthews with a time of 18:38 for 11th place. Senior Sarah Mosser came in fourth for the Terriers, completing the race in 18:57, which was good enough to earn her 19th-place. Freshman Marita Stressenger, sophomore Anna Lukes and freshman Tenny Ostrem were the next three Terriers to cross the finish line finishing in 31st (19:40), 36th (19:54) and 46th (20:16), respectively.
For the men, junior Eric Ashe came up just short of repeating his first-place performance from the America East Pre-Championship last week by finishing the 8,000-meter race in second place with a time of 25:07, just 12 seconds behind first place runner Adam Vess of Marist, who finished with a time of 24:55.
The next Terrier to follow Ashe across the finish line was fellow junior Craig MacPherson who finished in eighth-place overall with a time of 25:22, and right on MacPherson’s tail was sophomore Peter Gilmore who was only four seconds behind MacPherson with a time of 25:26, which was worthy of a 13th-place finish. Following Gilmore, the next three BU runners across the finish line were senior David Polgar, sophomore Joe Greenspun and junior James Weider, who were all within six seconds of each other coming in at 35th (26:26), 36th (26:27) and 37th (26:32).
Concerning each team’s performance on Saturday, BU coach Bruce Lehane noted that the men showed an improvement of ’20-30 seconds’ on average and that the women demonstrated an improvement of ’10-15 seconds’ on average from their times at America East Pre-Championship. He said there was also some room for improvement.
‘We ran strongly through the first three positions,’ Lehane said of his men’s squad, adding that the team needs to, ‘tighten up at four-five.’
Lehane said the story was similar on the women’s side, performing well, ‘up front’, but needing to improve in the five-through-seven slots.
Lehane went on to say that he felt that the competition was ‘quite solid’ and that he was ‘looking forward’ to the next meet, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10. On that date, the Terriers will be hosting the New England Championship at their home track of Franklin Park.