Both the men and women's Canisius College cross country teams will compete in the 44th annual UAlbany Invitational on Saturday Oct. 16. The Bobbi Palma Women's Championship Race (5K) will begin at 11:35 a.m. while the R.K. Munsey Men's Championship Race (8K) will start at 12:10 p.m.
This year's field will include 25 men's teams and 26 teams in the women's race. Canisius will have an opportunity to compete against defending champion Marist (men's team) and Middlebury (women's team) who won their respective races in 2009.
The Canisius College women's team is coming off one of their best races of the season finishing fourth overall in the Brooks/Paul Short Run, which boasted a field of 41 teams. Senior Maura Frauenhofer continues to lead the charge for the Blue and Gold as she placed second in the 5K circuit finishing 36 seconds off the pace of the top-finisher. Junior Jill Shea turned in another strong performance finishing second on the team (26th overall) with a time of 22:43. Shea has not finished worse then 34th place in 2010 and boasts a best time of 18:27 in the Little Three championship where she came in third. One of the most pleasant surprises for the Blue and Gold women's team has been the emergence of freshman Mikelle Cala. Cala has been one of the Griffs top performers so far this season as she boasts a career-best time of 18:07 (Little Three Championships) and has consistently finished in the top-three or higher on her team.
The men's team showed marked improvement as well coming off a 25th place finish at the Brooks/Paul Short Run. The last time that the men ran at Lehigh, Pa. they placed 43rd in 2008. Freshman Nathan McCabe and sophomore Alex Simon continue to be the team's top-finishers. McCabe was the Blue and Gold's best runner in the Brooks/Paul Short Run as he finished 50th overall with a time of 26:25 and Simon finished shortly behind him at 26:29 for a 54th place finish. The men as a team have not finished worse then 25th place in 2010 and look to continue that trend heading into the weekend.
This will be the last cross country event for both squads before they had to Madison, Conn. When they compete in the MAAC Championships.