Men, Women Run Away From Competition in MC Invitational
By Andrew Springer, GoMessiah.com reporter
It was a muddy, messy, and very hilly race for the Falcons, but that didn’t stop them as both the men and women dominated their races and won the team titles.
The women ran their 6000 meter race first, and were paced by seniors Mary Higgins (4th, 24:47) and Abby Reed (6th, 25:05). Sophomores Natalie DiGregorio (7th, 25:15), Jessica Visneski (10th, 25:40), and Jennifer Bender (11th, 25:49) rounded out the falcons scoring 5. Senior Brooke Airey (12th, 25:55) and junior Jessica Dillner (13th, 26:04) finished 6th and 7th respectively for Messiah.
The Falcons scored the impressively low score of just 38 points, beating second place Misericordia by almost half their score.
On the men’s side, the story was no different as Messiah dominated the tough 8000 meter course. Messiah was led by seniors Tyler Newhook (1st, 27:05), Zach Hoagland (2nd, 27:49), Daniel Herring (3rd, 28:04), Matthew Herring (4th, 28:14), and Craig Hutcheson (5th, 28:41), giving Messiah a sweep of the top 5 spots in the race. Fellow seniors Andrew Springer (7th, 28:45), and Nathan Myers (8th, 29:21) finished up next, making Messiah’s top 7 finishers all seniors.
By sweeping the top five spots, the Falcons recorded a “perfect score” of just 15 points. Besides scoring the lowest score possible, it was also a landmark day for Tyler Newhook. For the third straight year, Newhook has finished 1st at the Messiah Cross Country Invitational. It was also Newhook’s 4th race of the season, and 4th win of the season, as he has yet to finish worse than first place in a race this season.
The Cross Country team was not the only sports team from Messiah at the meet this weekend. A number of athletes from the Messiah Wrestling and Swim Team were present to cheer on their fellow falcons. Clad in brightly colored wrestling singlets and speedos and some even wearing body paint, their presence truly made the meet really feel like a home meet for the Falcons.
Although their antics were amusing, everyone was reminded why they were competing after the race when the men’s cross country team, wrestlers, and swimmers came together to pray, and ended with a shout of “Praise Him!”
The Falcons next race will be a little further from home as they travel this Friday, September 30th up to Bethlehem, PA for the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh University. The meet is the largest Messiah will be at this season, and will provide falcons some of their best competition to date, including many NCAA Division I and II teams.
The men will race in the Brown race at 12:15 p.m. and the women will compete in the White race at 2:30 p.m.