The women’s team earned their 11th championship title in a row this Saturday, Oct. 28. The women scored a meet-low of 23 points, only three runners in the race finished under 24 minutes, two of them for Etown.
Three Etown runners finished in the top-five and six made the top-ten.
Senior Kelsey Brady led the Jays, running to her best finish in a conference meet in her career, received a time of 23:15.51, earning her second place.
She came in just two seconds behind the first-place finisher, first-year Abby Corrigan from University of Scranton.
Senior Maria Anderson, also finishing with her best championship performance, came in behind Brady with a time of 23:18.72.
Junior Colleen Kernan rounded out the top five finishing in 24:23.08.
Senior Brenna McNamee was next for the Jays, finishing sixth in 24:27.75. First-year Kaitlin Donahue finished seventh and graduate student Alexis Groce came in ninth. Donahue and Groce finished in 24:35.09 and 24:50.73, respectively.
Brady, Anderson, Kernan, McNamee and Donahue were named to the All- Landmark First Team. Head coach Brian Falk was honored as the Landmark Coach of the Year for the women’s dominant performance.
The men’s cross country championship was held on the same day as the women’s. For the first time in the conference’s 11 years, the men’s cross country championship race ended in a tie.
Both with 38 points, Elizabethtown College and Juniata College’s men’s cross country teams had to resort to a tie-breaker to decide the winner.
Soaring through the finish line was the Jays’ sophomore Samuel Gerstenbacher, with junior Tyler Alansky one second behind him. Gerstenbacher won with a time of 27:27.23 and Alansky took second with a time of 27:28.71. Gerstenbacher is the third different individual Blue Jay champion in the last four years. Moravian sophomore Greg Jaindl came in third place with a time of 27:32.23 and Juniata’s top runner, sophomore Peter D’Amico, finished less than one second behind Jaindl in 27:32.39.
Behind him, Etown sophomore Ryan Rippeon earned fifth place for the Jays. Juniata took sixth, seventh and eighth place.
Senior Tommy Fitzgerald finished in 11th place, followed by Juniata sophomores Vinnie Caroselli and Alexander Jones, earning 12th and 13th place, respectively.
Sophomore Liam Coverdale placed 19th for the Jays, finishing the race for the team. Adding up the scores, the teams were tied with 38 points each.
So how was the winner decided? Etown was crowned the champion thanks to their scoring line. The scoring line is based on the places each team achieved in their race.
For the Jays, the scoring line was Gerstenbacher first, Alansky second, Rippeon fifth, Fitzgerald 11th and Coverdale 19th. Juniata’s scoring line was 4, 6, 7, 8 and 13.
The Jays’ 1, 2 and 5, by rule, were better compared to the first three for Juniata. This gave the Jays what they needed to come out victorious over Juniata.
“When I toe the line [at Regionals], I will give it everything I have and more,” Fitzgerald said. Toe on the line, ready to take off and bring home another win.
With this Landmark Conference Championship win under their belts the Jays are off to the NCAA Division III Mideast Regionals Saturday, Nov. 11 at Big Spring High School.
The women’s race will start at 11 a.m. and the men will begin at 12:30 p.m.