The Canisius College men's and women's cross country teams competed at the 33rd annual National Catholic Championship on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on Friday afternoon. In a field of 33 teams, the Golden Griffin men placed ninth overall. The Griff women finished 15th out of 37 teams represented.
Individually, sophomore Chad Maloy recorded a career-best finish of 19th overall with a time of 25:16. Maloy's time at this year's championship put him sixth on the Griffs' all-time performance list. At last year's race, the sophomore posted a time of 25:42 to finish 40th.
"Chad executed his race perfectly, going out in 40th place and moving up steadily through the field," said head coach Nate Huckle of Maloy's performance. "He showed great composure and confidence as our front runner."
The Griff men relied on their depth to record the top-ten finish as a team. Freshmen Cooper Roach placed 46th (26:01) and Mike Anvelt finished 56th overall (26:14). Rounding out the Griffs' top-five finishers were senior Alex Simon with a 69th-place finish (26:22) and freshman Travis Jordon, who finished 76th (26:25).
"The men's depth really showed today. Our scoring five continues to change as different runners step with big races," said Huckle.
More importantly, it was the depth from the freshman newcomers that led the way for the Griffs strong finish. Among the top-five Griffs, Roach, Anvelt, and Jordon each competed in their first collegiate eight-kilometer race.
"Out three freshmen earned us the top-ten finish. Cooper led the charge for our pack with Mike and Travis closing the gap in the late miles," said Huckle. "All three posted outstanding times in their first eight-kilometer race."
On the women's side, junior Mikelle Cala placed 46th overall with a time of 18:51. Her performance at this year's National Catholic Championship, nearly matched her performance as a freshman of 33rd overall (18:49).
Finishing among the Griffs' top-five were junior Jamie Wallace in 93rd place (19:22), sophomore Morgan Atkins in 103rd (19:31), freshman Mary Kate Chambers in 134th place (19:58), and freshman Robin Wagner in 141st (20:06).
"The women are really starting to roll as a group. Our top-three runners ran their fastest times in two years and our fourth runner hit her best time ever," said Huckle. "They are improving by leaps and bounds and by October we will be a very strong squad."
For the 21st time in race history, host Notre Dame captured the men's title in the last 25 years. The individual champion on the men's side was Jeremy Rae of the Fighting Irish with a time of 24:16.
On the women's side, Notre Dame had all seven runners finish in the top-11 spots to capture their 19th team championship. Notre Dame's Rebecca Tracy was the top-individual finisher with a time of 17:11.
The Blue and Gold will return to the course at the Brooks Paul Short Run on Friday, September 28 on the campus of Lehigh University. The women's race will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the men's race.