Out of the nine Villanova men’s cross country runners competing at the Lehigh Paul Short Run on Oct. 5, eight ran personal records. The Wildcats were led by redshirt freshman Haftu Strintzos on the Goodman Campus Course who had a time of 23:44.0 placing 13th out of about 400 runners. Strintzos was followed by senior Casey Comber who was 54th with a time of 24:14.0, a bit short of his PR.
Paul Short was the season debut for both Strintzos and Comber, after being out with sickness for the first few races. Head Coach Marcus O’Sullivan commented on Strintzos’s performance saying, “it was a very pleasant surprise, I did not know how he would perform after being sick but he ran extremely well.”
Pennsylvania native and junior Rob Morro has run on this course all through his high school career. This year he crossed the line at Lehigh University in 24:20.2 breaking his overall PR for both high school and college.
Redshirt freshmen Patrick Spychalski and Ben Seiple finished with times of 24:32.2 and 24:59.9 as the final scorers for Villanova.
“Patrick had a great race,” O’Sullivan said, “As well as Ben, they both showed good progress.”
Great performances were also displayed by redshirt freshmen Patrick Craemer (25:12.6), Nicholas Ackerman (25:37.2), Trevor Potts (26:15.1). Junior Jacob Bonanotte finished in 26:24.6 to conclude the Wildcats showing on the 8,000m course.
“Overall, I am very happy with the individual performances today,” O’Sullivan said. “The team showed some good improvements and now we are looking forward and hoping for more progress.”
Looking into the next few weeks, the team will be competing on Oct. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind. for the Under Armor Pre-National Invitational, giving the team time to recoup and train. Big East Championships will take place in Wisconsin on Nov. 2.