The Stevenson University cross country teams successfully finished the Bill Fritz Invitational at Rowan University on Sept. 17. They have started off their regular season strong and are placing in the top teams of their meets.
At Rowan, the men’s team placed fourth out of 17 teams. Sophomore Langston Gash placed in the top 20 for the men’s 8k run with a Stevenson record time of 26:08.16, followed by freshman Ryan Siegel with a time of 26:25.15. Sophomore Sam Mercoli ran a career best time of 26:36.59, and freshman Patrick Watson also had a personal-best time of 26:45.67.
Coach Dave Berdan said that Gash and Siegel are the two men to pay close attention to this season, and added that he believes Siegel will get closer in time to Gash in some races.
The women’s team finished in sixth place out of 17 teams. Sophomore Kayla Bias finished the women’s 6k run with a time of 25:29.68. Freshman Achol Odolla followed closely behind with a time of 26:01:08. Kelly Winklbauer, a sophomore from Mt. Airy, Md., deserves attention as well, said Berdan.
He acknowledged that he always wanted to be a head coach since his college days and found the opportunity to accomplish that at Stevenson. Since he came to Stevenson, Berdan said, he gets great satisfaction out of seeing athletes improve every meet, season and year.
Coming up for the women’s team are the Don Cathcart Invitational on Oct. 1, the Goucher Classis on Oct. 8, and the Dickinson Long/Short on Oct. 1 for the men’s team.
Berdan is looking forward to their conference and regional meets and is confident that Winklbauer and Gash will make nationals, adding that Siegel could possibly do the same as long as he improves every meet.