The Franciscan University of Steubenville cross-country teams saw their season hit a climax this weekend as they hosted the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championships on their very own home course, with both the men and women’s teams sweeping the conference titles.
These long-awaited victories were the first in four years for the women’s team. It has been eight years since the men’s team claimed a conference title, and this is only the second time the men’s team has won since the program was pioneered by head coach Daniel Kuebler.
The Lady Barons started the day off strong in the 6k race. Leading the way was senior Grace Galligan in first place, crossing the finish line with a time of 22:46.
Following Galligan was freshmen Alison Bryant in second place with a time of 23:47. Not far behind were freshman Mary Jo Shirger and sophomore Grace Scrocca finishing in fifth and sixth places with times of 25:33 and 25:34.
The next Lady Barons across the finish line were senior Carolyn Poston and sophomore Elizabeth O’Connor, earning 10th and 12th places in 26:06 and 26:24. Rounding out the scoring runners for the women’s team was junior Natalia Badia in 15th place in a time of 26:41.
All of the scoring runners for the women’s team earned All-Conference honors for finishing in the top fifteen.
On the men’s side, the Barons were paced by sophomore Liam Galligan, who defended his 2017 conference win by again placing first with a time of 26:02.
Following close behind were sophomore Mark Borek and senior Nick Long in second and third places with times of 26:58 and 27:03. Senior Grady Stuckman and junior Matthew Crotteau finished in sixth and eighth places in times of 27:38 and 27:53.
Rounding out the scoring runners on the men’s side were freshman Mike Sobus and sophomore Cader Coleman in 21st and 26th places with times of 30:42 and 31:14.
The top five runners on the men’s team – Galligan, Borek, Long, Stuckman and Crotteau – also earned All-Conference honors.
However, the running Barons still have some unfinished business to attend to as they head into postseason.
The varsity runners will be back in action Nov. 10 at the NCAA Division III Regional Championships at DeSales University with high hopes of some runners advancing to NCAA Nationals on Nov. 17.
With a few weeks of running still ahead, both teams are eager to compete and continue to defy expectations.