For the second time this season, the Canisius College cross country team squared off with local rivals St. Bonaventure and Niagara at Delaware Park.
The men’s results saw much of the same, with Canisius cruising to a convincing victory with eight runners in the top-nine spots. However, the women were able to overcome their loss to the Bonnies earlier this season and help the Griffs sweep the inaugural Canisius Alumni Classic.
Despite not having a runner in the top-three, the Canisius women were able to use the depth of its roster to earn the victory. The Griffs had seven runners inside the top-12.
“St. Bonaventure ran really well up front, our top three were solid as well, but it was really our pack that won it today,” said head coach Nate Huckle. “We put seven runners before St. Bonaventure’s fourth runner and that really made the difference to separate ourselves. It was really a team effort today, the girls really wanted to close the gap and pull ahead of St. Bonaventure and they made it happen today.”
Senior Mikelle Cala was the top finisher for the Griffs, with a time of 19:17. She was followed closely by freshman Haley Keene and junior Jamie Wallace who finished fifth and sixth respectively. A pair of freshmen, Macey Walker and Catherine Niederpruem, rounded out the Griffs scoring with eighth and ninth place finishes.
On the men’s side sophomore Cooper Roach was again the Griffs’ top finisher. Roach completed the 8k course in 26:10, with a four freshmen on his heels. Jeffrey Antolos finished in second place, just one second off the pace set by Roach. Xavier Sauvageau and Brennan Root finished third and fourth for the Griffs. A.J. Stuver rounded out the Griffs scoring with a sixth place finish.
The Griffs had three additional runners in the top-nine places, with junior Chris Sauvageau, sophomore Joe Schnitter and freshman Connor Tumiel each running right outside of the Canisius scoring.
“They really wanted to go out and stay in control today,” Huckle said. “Just get a good tune up in front of the MAAC Championships. We really wanted to take it out relaxed and allow some of our runners from sixth through 10th to stay closer to the pack and get confidence. It panned out for us, we had eight runners under 27:05 and it showed that we can have three more runners closer to our top-five and we need them heading into MAACs.”
Next up for the Griffs will be the MAAC Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in New York, N.Y. on Nov. 1.