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Edinboro harrier squads grab 15th at national meet in Louisville

Story first appeared in Jan. 29 edition of the Spectator.

All season long it was the Edinboro women’s cross country team taking the headlines above its male counterpart.

In the finale, it was the men’s team that took center stage.

The male harriers finished 15th out of 32 total teams at the Division II National Championships, on Dec. 6 at a muddy E.P. Sawyer State Park, all part of the Division II National Championship festival held in Louisville, Kentucky.

The women’s team also took 15th in a 32-team field, but coming off a regional championship, head coach Rick Hammer was looking for a higher finish.

“Fifteenth is not as much as we hoped for,” the second-year coach said. “We aren’t a deep team. A couple folks had a tough day, which took us out of the top eight, where I hoped to finish, but that’s cross country.”

The men’s team lost some depth due to a few athletes battling injuries and illnesses, but the men persevered.

“The men’s race was fantastic,” Hammer commented. “Fifteenth for the men was about as good as we could hope for.”

Senior Kasey Jones led the way individually for the women’s team, finishing 20th and posting a time of 21:45.3. The PSAC women’s cross country athlete of the year earned All-American honors for her finish, the first time she has achieved that in her career.

Sophomore Emma Sullivan finished 73rd with a time of 22:38.7. The third lady harrier to cross the finish line was Megan Maffett as the senior finished 48th, posting a time of 22:41.5.

Hammer was extremely happy with Maffett’s performance in her final collegiate race.

“It was the best race I’ve ever seen her run. It seemed like she was running on dry ground while everyone else was in the mud.”

Matt Link earned All-American honors in his final collegiate race, as he was the first runner from Boro to finish in the men’s race. The senior took 15th with a time of 31:05.5.

Junior Elliot Martynkiewicz earned 77th posting a time of 32:11.6.

Hammer has seen Link grow as an athlete and a leader in his two years piloting the program.

“He has been a leader since I’ve arrived on campus. He went out and did the work in the offseason and I think that is how he has become a top 15 runner in the nation. He exceeded my expectations.”

The 2014 season was a memorable one for the women’s team that was highlighted by winning the PSAC and Atlantic Region. It will be tough to replicate; however, with the Scots losing Jones, Emily Ahrens, Brianne Dietrich, Maffett and three others to graduation.

For the men, this year was another rebuilding one. The team will look to earn more next season with only losing two athletes, Link and Tim McConnell, to graduation.

Acknowledging that taking training during track season seriously is the key to success in cross- country, Hammer believes both teams will stay right on the course.

“I don’t think we will miss a beat. Doug Watts and the alumni set a tradition that we aren’t fazed by graduation. We are attracting high level recruits. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic if we continue to do things the right way.”


Men’s Race

Top two individual finishers and top Edinboro finisher

  1. Tabor Stevens, Adams St. 30:02.0
  2. Aaron Dinzeo, Cal (Pa.) 30:19.3
  3. Matt Link, Boro 31:05.5

Top two teams and Edinboro

  1. Adams State 69
  2. Grand Valley St. 127
  3. Edinboro 390

Women’s Race

Top two individual finishers and top Edinboro finisher

  1. Kendra Foley, Grand Valley St. 21:05.8
  2. Allyson Winchester, Grand Valley St. 21:11.5
  3. Kasey Jones, Boro 21:45.3

Top two teams and Edinboro

  1. Grand Valley St. 50
  2. Hillsdale 115
  3. Edinboro 397

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