BY KATHLEEN STUBBS
The members of the Franciscan women’s cross country team kept their warm-up clothes on up until the final minutes before they quieted for the start.
With overcast skies and a high of only 66 degrees, the temperature was cool enough for members of the Franciscan team to wear an extra layer leading up to their races.
While the first two meets had been humid and around 80 degrees, with only a few runners wearing T-shirts over their uniforms for the pre-race warm-up jogs, most of the team arrived at the Bethany invitational wearing their warm-ups and sweats.
Nearly all the Baron cross country runners who raced at the Bethany Invitational Saturday got either lifetime or season personal records (PRs) for their respective races.
The cool weather and relatively flat course, compared to the previous two races this season, may have played roles in the positive performance of the Franciscan men’s and women’s teams.
The top three to represent the women’s team at Bethany – freshman Catherine Hall, freshman Arianna Purcell, and senior Jennifer Gray – finished within 35 seconds of each other. Hall and Purcell got lifetime PRs for the 6K while Gray got a season PR.
Head Coach Daniel Kuebler was pleased with the performance of Hall and of new runner Sabina Abbadessa.
“Catherine Hall (paced well and finished with a great time) on the women’s side and Sabina also had a very strong race for only her second ever 6K,” Kuebler said.
The Franciscan men’s team was led by junior David Byers, followed by freshman Ricky Staniszewski, freshman Joe Lamontagne, and senior Jack Nash. Byers finished 44th out of 156 runners.
Kuebler was impressed with the performance of Lamontagne and Staniszewski.
“I was impressed with the way some of the freshman and new runners ran – particularly Ricki and Joe on the guys side,” Kuebler said. “This was only their second 8K and both paced themselves well and finished with great times.”
Only part of Franciscan men’s and women’s cross country teams raced Saturday at the Bethany cross country invitational.
The top nine runners on both teams will compete at Notre Dame next week, and therefore, did not race at Bethany.
The varsity team will compete Sept. 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the National Catholic Championships at Notre Dame University in Southbend, Indiana.