By Justin Sweitzer
Slippery Rock University hosted the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 24. The Golden Bears were well represented, as both the men’s and women’s teams competed, finishing in sixth and eighth place, respectively.
Sophomore Stephen Maine, who individually finished in 14th place with a time of 25:56.3 led the men’s sixth place finish. Maine’s performance earned him All-PSAC First Team honors for the first time in his career.
While proud of the accolades earned at the event, Maine also lauded the team’s collective effort. He said, “I’m pleased with my performance, and I just wanted to get the job done. As a team, we definitely wanted to place well and move up in the rankings. No one gave up and that’s why we did well.”
Maine was followed by seniors Jack Inglis, who finished 42nd, Mark Pfaeffle, 46th, and Naeb Mengisteab, 49th.
Pfaeffle was also extremely pleased with the team’s results. He said, “I was really happy with our team’s finish. Sixth place was our best finish since 2004. We were ranked seventh coming in so it’s always nice when you finish higher then you were [first] ranked.”
The women’s team also had a solid performance at Slippery Rock, with senior Corinna Manela leading the team that came in 17th in the overall standings. She finished with a time of 22:56.6 and earned All-PSAC Second Team honors for the second year in a row.
Manela was impressed by the grit shown by her fellow teammates, especially on a course as daunting as Slippery Rock’s. “Slippery Rock is a challenging course,” said Manela, “And we have a young team this year with only three returning members, so I think the team did well overall.”
Freshman Stephanie Bresadola followed Manela, finishing 33rd with a time of 23:48.5, an impressive finish for a freshman in her PSAC Championship debut. Bresadola followed in the footsteps of Manela, with the highest placing for a KU freshman since Manela herself in 2012.
Following her performance at Slippery Rock, Bresadola is looking ahead to the future and believes the team will grow with more experience. She said, “I think we will definitely improve as we gain more experience with college running.”
With the PSAC Championships behind them, the Golden Bears cross country teams prepare for the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships at Lock Haven University on Saturday, Nov. 7.