Colleen Slattery, Sports Editor
Thunder crashed overhead, lightning lit up the 7 a.m. sky, and the University of Dallas men’s and women’s cross-country runners groaned as they sat on the bus and viewed the downpour this past Saturday, Sept. 28th. The rainstorm promised not only mud, but also a delay to the races. After nearly an hour and a half of delays, officials decided to have the men and women run together. And so, the men and women lined up to begin the 2013 Hardin-Simmons Cross Country Invitational, and the races got underway.
The course, a simple, one-mile repeated loop, was ankle deep in water and mud. In many places, the mud caused UD runners to slip and fall, but our Crusaders are anything but weak. Each time, they picked themselves up and ran on. The women ran a very strong race of three laps, despite the conditions. The top finisher was Clare Myers, coming in fourth overall. The next top finishers were Meghan Falconer (sixth), Danielle Pajak, who had a stand-out race in the mud to finish ninth, Colleen Slattery (10th), and Anne Kennedy (11th). The women placed second overall, with 37 points.
The men ran four laps on the course, and despite many falls and slips, also ran a solid race. Gabriel Marasigan was the first of the men to finish, in 13th place overall, followed closely by friend and fellow freshman, Kevin Doherty, in 15th place. The next Crusaders to cross the finish line were Aaron French (18th), Jack Grubner (24th) and Nick Hedlesky (26th). The men finished the meet in fourth place as a team.
Although the weather was not expected, the UD runners persevered. All crossed the finish line covered in mud from head to spike-clad toe, exhilarated and exhausted. The men’s and women’s teams will run at Centenary College next weekend.