By: Taylor Bettencourt
The Franciscan University of Steubenville Men’s and Women’s cross country teams ran to an impressive overall second place at the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championships on Saturday October 27th. The Baron’s Bill Jones and the Lady Baron’s Nicole Krajewski were each able to clinch first place in the individual championships.
“I was happy with the effort the team gave,” said head coach Daniel Kuebler. “They ran against some really good competition, like Penn State-Behrend. Their women’s team is ranked in their region, so they’re a solid team and our women did really well. It was a very tough course, I was really happy with the way the teams competed.”
As the final conference competition for some of the seniors, the meet served as last chance for them to run as Barons. Everyone seemed to be on top of their game as most Baron athletes ran better than they did a few weeks earlier on the same course.
“A lot of people ran faster this week than they did on this course a few weeks ago,” said Kuebler.
One specific highlight of the day was Bill Jones’ first place in the individual championships with an 8k time of 25:44, out-running the second place competitor by just about two and a half minutes.
“Going into the race, I knew I was going to win,” Jones said. “My goal was just to push myself to run as fast of a time I could and to just make it hurt, to have my body work and to get a good workout in to prepare for the upcoming championship meets at regionals and nationals. I felt like I did a good job ’cause I was hurting. I pushed it, especially up hills and wherever I could open it up. I wanted to finish two minutes ahead of the second place person and I was able to finish 2 minutes and 34 seconds ahead of the second place person. I did what I needed to do so it was good.”
Lady Baron Nicole Krajewski also placed first in the individual championships as well, finishing her 6K race with a time of 23:22.
“I feel really good about the way I did. It was the harder course but it was really good. I could only do it through Christ, He gave me the strength. All glory’s to God,” Krajewski said.
With a second-place win overall by both teams, two team members placing first in the individual championships, and a team running to the best of their abilities, coach Kuebler was delighted with the whole outcome of the weekend.
“I was pleased, and I think everyone had a good race, no one walked away saying ‘Aw, I could’ve left something out there.’ I think everyone ran up to their potential, and as a coach that’s all you can ask. And it’s nice to see your seniors particularly end on such a good note,” said Kuebler.
With this momentum, the Baron varsity squads (the top 9 men and women) will head to Indiana for their regional meet on November 10th.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them run at regionals,” said Kuebler. Let’s Go Barons!