On Saturday September 29, the Springfield College men’s and women’s cross country team had an impressive day at the Paul Short Run on Lehigh University’s campus. Home to the largest intercollegiate meet in the United States, the event played host to a strong showing from a number of Springfield athletes.
Graduate student Jack Pinho led the men’s team with a time of 26:50, which was good for 16th overall and high praise from head coach Anna Steinman.
“He really proved himself as an overall distance runner, anything from the 800 all the way up to an 8k. He’s a really good person to have to lead by example,” claimed Steinman.
Second and third place were occupied by senior Tyler Cronin and sophomore Ryan Vermette with times of 27:54 and 27:58, respectively.
“Tyler has been a crucial number two guy for us this whole season and all of last year as well too, so we know we can always count on him to have a huge performance,” explained Steinman.
Vermette was able to provide his team with a big boost in performance as he moved up from 118th to 64th place.
“With Ryan, it’s a trend, he literally gets better and better with every race. We had talked even before the race how we needed people to step up in different roles and [this week] it was Ryan,” continued Steinman.
On the girls side, Springfield ended their Saturday at Lehigh University with a 20th place finish. The highlight of the match was Springfield’s leading runner, Rachael Wentnick. She ended the day with a fantastic time of 24:26 on the 6k course, moving up 30 spots. It did not go unnoticed by Coach Steinman.
“She is definitely very talented, she puts in the mileage she puts in the work, she’s very very dedicated, she picked up thirty places, she had a huge day,” she said.
Second and third were taken up by sophomore Abby Murdock and junior Laura Volan with times of 25:30 and 25:49, respectively.
“They both have a lot ahead of them, they both have a lot of range,” said Steinman.
The girls team is dominated by primarily freshman, as there are 12 new faces currently on the team. Upperclassman take up just five spots on the team so the underclassman have to be strong not just in the races but also off the track as mentors.
“We talked to the sophomores early in the preseason and said take the freshman under your wing,” said Steinman. “They have been another very big sounding board for the freshman to show them the ropes and instill in them what we do here.”
Expectations remain high for both the boys and girls teams going forward. Both teams travel to Westfield State for the second to last meet before the NEWMAC championships.
Steinman explained, “We use all of these races to prepare ourselves mentally not just physically for the championship.”