The Barons-cross country team saw its season hit an all-time peak at the NCAA Division III Regional Championship held at DeSales University in Philadelphia.
For only the second time in the program’s history, the last time being in 2012, Franciscan University of Steubenville will be sending two runners to the NCAA National Championships. Being a national qualifier must run in the family, as the two qualifiers were none other than siblings senior Grace Galligan and sophomore Liam Galligan.
On the women’s side, the Lady Barons earned the best team finish in program history in 16th place. Galligan led the way with a time 22:52 for sixth place. Not far behind was freshmen Mary Jo Shirger in 29th place in 23:53, earning All-Region honors.
The next Lady Barons across the finish line were freshmen Alison Bryant and sophomore Grace Scrocca in 65th and 157th place with times of 24:43 and 26:16. Following were senior Carolyn Poston and freshman Elizabeth Atkins in 168th and 185th places with times of 26:28 and 26:53. Rounding out the runners on the women’s side was sophomore Elizabeth O’Connor in 200th place with a time of 27:12.
The men’s team followed-up with an impressive 13th place finish, also the best in program history. Liam Galligan paced the Barons with a sixth place finish in a time of 26:11. Senior Nick Long and sophomore Mark Borek ran in a close-knit pack, finishing in 50th and 59th place with times of 27:25 and 27:33. Close behind were senior Grady Stuckman and junior Matthew Crotteau in 118th and 121th place in 28:30 and 28:34.
Rounding out the runners for the men’s team were freshman Mike Sobus and Cader Coleman in 265th and 275th place with times of 31:19 and 31:37.
For most of the team members, the season has reached an impressive end to one of the best the cross-country team has ever seen. However, two runners still have some unfinished business. On Saturday, Nov. 17, the Galligan siblings will travel to Oshkosh, WI, to compete in NCAA Division III Nationals Championships. With an already impressive season under their belt, no one doubts the Galligans will continue to defy expectations and see years of hard work pay off.