Halloween this year was a unique experience for the University of Dallas Cross Country teams. The runners faced puddles and mud on the course as storms struck the course the night before the race. The Southern Athletic Collegiate Conference (SCAC) Championship meet was held at the Stone Creek Golf Club in Sherman, Texas, home of the Austin College ‘Roos.
The puddles and mud on the course affected the runners in a variety of ways. For some, such as senior Ryan McAnany, it provided the perfect conditions to make the course a bit more enjoyable.
“It was a mud bath, but a really fun course,” McAnany said.
Others found the mud to be a bit more than annoying.
“[Sophomore] Peter [deTar] lost a shoe at the two-mile mark and had to finish the race with only his sock on,” Assistant Coach Harry Halls said.
Despite the various effects of the conditions, the Crusaders trekked through the course quickly enough to place well in the competitive conference meet.
The men ran the 8,000-meter race and were led once again by McAnany. Of the 63 men running, McAnany took sixth, making this the fourth time he has placed in the top 10 this season. Fellow seniors Javier Secaira and Jack Grubner finished next, trekking through the mud in 30:11 and 31:38 minutes, respectively. Then came the last two to count for scoring, sophomore Peter deTar and freshman Rafael Medina, who finished in 32:59 and 33:39 minutes, respectively.
The men’s team won fourth place and the Lady Crusaders brought home third place.
The ladies did not seem to be haunted as they completed their 6K in time to gain a third-place standing. Freshman Bridget Kennedy finished first out of the Crusaders, running the 6K in 25:49 minutes and placing 14th individually out of the 59 runners. The next two to cross the line for the Crusaders were seniors Ruth Fritz and Emma Polefko. Fritz completed the race in 26:48 minutes and Polefko completed her race in 27:37 minutes. Freshman Caroline Schemel finished in 28:12 minutes, junior Joey Danaher finished in 28:21 and freshman Clare Basil completed the race in 28:29 minutes in her first 6K of the season.
“We did very well and I think everyone had a solid race, especially considering how rough the course was,” Basil said. “I think we were better prepared than most teams for such a hard course because our own course is so difficult.”
After a successful weekend, the Crusaders hope to continue picking up speed as they head into one final race together.
“For me, next week I want us to finish out the season strong with our best race, and for Ryan, Jav and me, finish out our careers strong.” Grubner said.
Perhaps the Crusaders will dodge rainy weather next weekend when they visit the Sunshine State. Both the men and the women will be headed to Tampa, Fla. for the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Championships, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 7.