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Cross Country Prepared to Defend Little Three Championship Titles

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 09/23/2011
Senior Sean Balkin
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The men and women's cross country team return to competition on Saturday afternoon at the Little Three Championships. The Golden Griffins will defend their team crowns against rivals St. Bonaventure and fellow MAAC member Niagara at Veterans Memorial Park in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The women's race will start the Championships at 1 p.m. followed by the men's race at approximately 1:45 p.m.

At the Little Three Championships, the women's team will look to defend its fourth consecutive team title while the men's team will bring their five-year reign as Little Three Champions to Veterans Memorial Park.

"It's a different kind of race. There are only maybe thirty kids in each race so the spotlight is really on you," said men's and women's cross country head coach Pete Osmond. "The kids are really looking forward to it and hopefully we get another crown."

The women's team enters the field after a ninth-place team finish at the National Catholic Championships hosted by the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Sept. 16. In the women's field of 272 runners, senior Christine Mulvihill recorded the team's best performance, finishing in 23rd place with a time of 18:17.

"Christine Mulvihill ran the fastest time I have had at Notre Dame in my nine years. That was pretty exciting," said Osmond. "We are still pretty strong up to the fourth. We are kind of weak at the fifth and sixth spot but the girls know what to do and we are getting there."

In addition to Mulvihill's performance for the women's team, senior Jill Shea set a 5K-career best of 18:47 to finish 48th overall.

In the men's race at the National Catholic Championships, the men's squad finished 13th among 31 teams. For the second straight week, freshman Chad Maloy led the Griffs with a time of 25:42 to finish 40th among 255 competitors. At the event, Maloy managed to knock more than a minute off his previous week's performance at the Duquesne Duals.

"On the men's side everyone looks great, everything is clicking. Everyone is going right along just the way we expected it to," said Osmond.

The emergence of the freshmen for both the men and women's teams shows promise for races to come. At the National Catholic Championships, freshmen Maloy, Christopher Sauvageau, Andrew Coy, Morgan Atkins, and Brandi Pettit each set new career-bests.

"They are fine, they are perfect. They are right where they are supposed to be. There are improvements and that is all I need to see," stated Osmond.

Women's results at Little Three Championship under Osmond
2010: 1st
2009: 1st
2008: 1st
2007: 1st
2006: 2nd
2005: 2nd
2004: 2nd
2003: 1st

Men's results at Little Three Championship under Osmond
2010: 1st
2009: 1st
2008: 1st
2007: 1st
2006: 1st
2005: 2nd
2004: 3rd
2003: 3rd

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