Paul Smith's College Men’s XC Team places 3rd at the CCOC Meet at Seneca Lake State Park
Sophomore Kyle Dash (Java Village, NY/Pioneer HS) paced the Paul Smith's College Bobcats men’s XC team to a third place finish at yesterday’s Cross Country Only Championships (CCOC) held at Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva, NY. Dash finished fifth with a time of 28:15, which was his season’s PR and his third consecutive top five finish this season. Matt Piper (JR: Morrisville, VT/People’s Academy) finished in 19th place with a time of 29:22, followed by Ben Palladino (Tully, NY/Tully HS) who finished in 29:32 for 23rd place. The fourth Bobcat runner to cross the finish line was Ben Howard (JR: Sidney Center, NY/Sidney, NY) in 29th with a time of 29:40, while Dana Hazen (JR: White River Jct, VT) rounded out the PSC’s top five with an overall time of 30:46, taking 26th. Both Josh Buchanen (FR: Central Square, NY/Central Square HS) and Jake Dillon (Elbridge, NY/Jordan Elbridge HS) finished out the scoring runners for Paul Smith’s College with times of 30:48 and 31:11 respectively.
Paul Smith's College had a total of 16 men competing in the race that featured fifteen scoring teams and 146 finishers from colleges and universities from New York and Pennsylvania. There were a total of eighteen schools participating in this event geared towards the colleges which have cross country, but don’t feature indoor or outdoor track and field teams. This really levels the playing field for the smaller colleges, or those which don’t have the indoor and outdoor facilities to accommodate track and field.
Alex Benway paced the field with a winning time of 26:50, leading the Clarkson University harriers to victory. Clarkson won the event with a low score of 21, followed by SUNY-IT with 81 points and then Paul Smith's College to a best ever third place finish at the CCOC with 107 points. Last year, Paul Smith's College finished fourth in the CCOC, the team’s previous best at this championship event.
Ten of the sixteen finishers for Paul Smith's College established season’s bests for the 8K distance, with several of the runners really showing marked improvement each week. Of these runners, Jacob Murphy (West Hartford, CT/Conard HS) is steady chopping off significant time. Although he is still well out of range of the top seven, he has dropped his overall time to a 38:04, taking six minutes off in five weeks of competition.
On the women’s side, Paul Smith's College didn’t field a complete team, but had four runners take part in the 5K women’s race. Freshmam Liz Havelin (Seneca Falls/Mynderse Academy) placed thirty-third overall in 22:36, followed by Ashley Comeau (SR: Kingston, MA/Silver Lake Regional HS) in 47th with a time of 23:18; and Linnea Shumway (FR: Canandaigua, NY/Canandaigua Academy) in 50th place with a time of 23:29. Caitlyn Sparkes (FR: Baldwinsville, NY/Baldwinsville HS) rounded out the PSC runners with an overall time of 32:06.
Host school, William Smith College won the women’s meet with 77 points, closely followed by Daemen College with 81 points, and Clarkson University with 82 points. There were 11 complete women’s teams and a total of sixteen schools represented in the CCOC meet.
Coach Jim Tucker was really please with the performance of the Paul Smith's College team at the CCOC, especially with a team dominated by underclassmen and new transfer students. “After finishing second the past couple of weeks at Invitationals featuring smaller colleges on difficult courses, it was great to see how they would respond at a larger meet on a flat course. The wind and the mud at Seneca Lake was the same for everyone, so this presented no unique challenges for the Bobcat harriers.”
The Paul Smith's College cross country teams will be heading to the Concord, NH next weekend for the Yankee Small College Conference Championships at the campus of New Hampshire Technical Institute. This will be the first time Paul Smith's College will face off against the small colleges of New England in this conference meet.