The Canisius College men's and women's cross country teams will make their first appearance at the fifth annual Father Laurence O'Neil, S.J. Invitational hosted by fellow MAAC opponent Fairfield University on Saturday morning.
The women's 5K-race will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the men's 8K-race at approximately 11:15 a.m.
Previously known as the Fairfield Invitational, the Father Laurence O'Neil, S.J. Invitational was rededicated in honor of the late Stags' chaplain in 2010. Serving as a counselor to student-athletes, Father O'Neil passed away in October 2009.
This year's field will include nine women's teams and ten men's teams. In addition to host and regining men's and women's O'Neil Invitational champion Fairfield, the field will be comprised of the Golden Griffins, Colgate University, University of Hartford, Siena College, Wagner University, the University of Bridgeport, City College of New York, Molloy College, and the University of New Haven.
The Golden Griffins are coming off a solid showing at the 39th annual Brooks Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa. on Sept. 28. The Golden Griffin men recorded their strongest performance in the Brown race with a program-best finish of second overall, while the women placed 23rd.
Making their eighth appearance at the race, the Golden Griffin men secured their best-team finish of second overall in a field of 33 teams. Leading the way for the Griffs for the third consecutive race was sophomore Chad Maloy. The sophomore recorded the program's best individual-finish of eighth overall with a time of 25:34. Besides Maloy, four of the Griffs' top-five finishers placed in the top-50.
On women's side, the Golden Griffins placed 23rd among 39 teams in the field. The Griffs placed ahead of MAAC members Niagara in 31st place and Manhattan in 35th place. Junior Mikelle Cala led the Griffs in their third straight race, finishing 33rd overall in a time of 22:53, tying a personal best at the course from her freshman year in 2010.