Nine members of the Canisius College men's and women's cross country teams competed in the 35th annual Shamrock Run in Buffalo, N.Y. on Saturday afternoon. The 8K-race featured a field of 3,810 runners, taking the competitors through the streets of downtown Buffalo and the historic neighborhood of the Old First Ward.
"I am very happy with where our women are right now," said head coach Nate Huckle. "We are much stronger than we were last spring, and I feel like each and every runner is poised to hit their personal best for 5K on the track this spring. That will set us up for a strong cross country season next fall."
Joining Huckle and assistant coach Aileen Hoak were five male Griff runners and four female runners. Among the record 5,600 registered-runners for the event, 3,810 participated in the 8K-race comprised of 1,941 men and 1,869 women. The race kicked off the racing season in Buffalo, as the first one of the Buffalo News racing series which tracks the Buffalo News Runner of the Year competition.
Leading the women's pack to the tape was Hoak, who captured the individual title with a 35-second lead over the runnerup for a time of 29:27. On the men's side, sophomore Chad Maloy placed third overall with a time of 25:24.
In the men's race, Maloy battled with a pair of Edinboro University runners Bryan Baumgartner and Matt Link for the top spot. Baumgartner was able to hold off Maloy to win the men's title (25:09) with Link finishing second (25:18). In his performance at the Shamrock Run, Maloy recorded his third fastest time in the 8K distance.
"Chad is just starting to round into form after taking some downtime for a minor knee issue, so for him to place third and run his third fastest time for the distance was outstanding," said Huckle. "Once Chad starts doing hard workouts again he will be fully back on top of his game. He is going to turn some heads on the track this spring."
Senior Alex Simon was the second Griff to cross the line, finishing 12th overall (26:11). Simon was followed by sophomore Joe Schnitter in 16th (26:44), junior Nate McCabe in 17th (26:45) and senior Aaron Hoven in 21st (27:58). Huckle rounded out the list of Griff male participants with a 43rd-place finish, improving on his time from the Turkey Trot in November.
"This was a great early spring performance for both Alex [Simon] and Joe [Schnitter]," stated Huckle. "Joe has pushed himself this winter, putting in 60 to 70 miles per week in an effort to move up and help the team next fall. It paid off with his personal best time for the distance."
The next female to cross the line after Hoak was junior Mikelle Cala, claiming an 11th-place finish (32:11). Cala was followed closely behind by sophomore Morgan Atkins in 16th (32:37) and junior Jaime Wallace in 23rd (33:37). The fourth Griff to finish was the race was sophomore Stephanie Frankenberger, placing 57th in 37:58.