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November 16, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 10

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Personal-bests help in XC regional meet

The men's and women's cross country teams crossed the finish line on their seasons at the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional on Saturday.

The men's team finished 14th in the 54-team meet and the women finished 26th out of 49, a three-spot improvement from last year.

On the men's side, sophomore Alex Price was the top runner for the Crusaders, finishing 48th out of 343 runners in a time of 26:46.8. Freshman John Crowe was 20 seconds behind Price, finishing 61st in 27:01.5. Junior Brandon Mash finished the day with a time of 27:43.6.

Junior Sal D'Angelo finished in 27:54.8, two seconds ahead of sophomore Paul Crowe in Crowe's return from injury. Freshman Dan Isenberg (28:14.4) and Skelton (28:20.9) rounded out the Susquehanna runners.

"The team performance overall, I felt, was pretty good," Price said. "The team had a few personal-best performances and had major improvements from last year. We always have high expectations for ourselves. We reached the goal of coming in the top 15, but we know as a team we could have broken into the top 10 in the region."

Price said he is optimistic about the team's chances for next year.

"We have been talking as a team, and we feel that if the guys train hard over the summer, we stay healthy and race to our ability, we have the potential to challenge for a national team slot," Price said.

For the women's team, Landmark Conference Female Rookie of the Year Ashley West paced the Crusaders, capping off a strong first season, finishing 83rd with a time of 24:49.2.

West was also named first-team all-conference for her performance at the Landmark Conference meet.

Senior Sarah Dickerson's time of 25:26.0 earned her second on the team, and senior Rachel Bachman was less than 20 seconds behind her with a time of 25:44.0. Senior Kimmie Leonhardt had a personal-best time of 25:48.6, as senior Carly Bass (26:31.8), freshman Diane Lindenmuth (26:44.9) and senior Rachel Mack (27:05.8) finished up the women's team.

"Going into the season, I knew both teams had the talent to do a lot of great things, but I also knew both teams were very young, especially in the top seven runners," head coach Marty Owens said. "The men were just 30 points from returning to the top 10 but in a meet of that size 30 points is a matter of seconds for two to three runners. The goal was to set the tone for the 2013 season at the regional meet."

Injuries hurt the Crusaders' women's squad early on, according to Owens, but the team battled back in the latter part of the season.

"It was great to see the freshmen be immediate impacts, but it was better to see several of the seniors fight and set new personal bests before they graduated," Owens said.

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