Sophomore Cooper Roach’s ninth place finish highlighted the Canisius College cross country team’s races at the National Catholic Championship. Overall, the men placed sixth and the women placed 10th.
Roach’s time of 25:28 is the 12th fastest time on the course in the Griffs’ 33 years of competition at the event. His ninth place finish is also Canisius’ best individual placement since 2002.
“Cooper has really committed himself to doing the little things well this year, and he had a great summer of base training,” said head coach Nate Huckle. “His hard work paid off for him today. He also ran very intelligently for the first two miles and then worked his way up the field through the final three.”
Roach was followed closely by a trio of freshman. Brennan Root finished in 23rd place, Jeffrey Antolos placed 30th and Xavier Sauvageau finished in 33rd. Sophomore Michael Anvelt rounded out the scoring for the Griffs in 38th place.
“Our freshmen played a large role in our success today,” Huckle said. “Brennan, Jeff and Xavier were outstanding in their first effort at the five mile distance as they shored up our top-five.”
Senior Catherine Phillips was the top female finisher for the Griffs, finishing 40th in her first competition for the Blue and Gold. Phillips completed the 5k course in 18:59.
“Catherine had a triumphant return to racing after missing three years due to injuries,” Huckle said. “She brought a lot of excitement to the race today and it was contagious for our women.”
Joining Phillips in the top-50 were senior Mikelle Cala, who placed 43rd and freshman Haley Keene, who finished 45th. The Griffs’ top-five was rounded out by freshmen Macey Walker and Catherine Niederpruem.
“Overall our teams had strong performances, as both improved their placing from last year,” Huckle said. “I was very encouraged by how aggressive and confident both teams were. If they keep this attitude moving forward it is going to be an exciting season.”
The Griffs will return to action Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Brooks Paul Short Run. The races get underway at 10 a.m.