For the second meet in a row, the Binghamton men’s cross country team came out of the weekend with the men’s 8,000-meter individual title. The men’s team finished fifth of eight and the women’s team placed fourth of nine at the Buffalo Stampede on Friday.
Redshirt freshman Dan Schaffer took first place in the event this week after a second-place finish at the preconference meet in Vermont two weeks ago. Individually, Schaffer ran a noteworthy race, with a final time of 24:38.0, averaging 4:58 per mile. However, the men’s and women’s cross country teams did not perform well overall.
Senior Allison Davis performed well on the women’s side, finishing the 6,000-meter race in 22:04.1, coming in 10th place overall. With sophomore Jessica Cueva-Scarpelli finishing 15th, the Bearcat women only accumulated 22 points from their top two finishers. The next three finishers for the Bearcats came in 30th, 37th and 39th, earning the women’s team a final score of 112, finishing behind Connecticut, Buffalo and Vermont. Buffalo sophomore Stephanie Ward won the women’s race with a time of 21:08.9.
“The women probably had a better day than what they ran at Vermont,” said BU head coach Annette Acuff. “We had two girls finish in the top 15, with Allison and Jessica Cueva-Scarpelli.”
On the men’s side, Schaffer scored one point for the team, but the rest of the Bearcat men finished out of the top ten. Rounding out the top five were 28th, 42nd, 55th and 56th place finishes, giving the men’s team a total of 132 points, well behind third-place Buffalo, who tallied 78 points, and the winners, Pittsburgh, who scored just 33 points.
The Bearcats are confident that as the season progresses, they’ll continue to have competitive individual performances.
With a goal of staying healthy throughout the season, Acuff sat out a couple runners this week, including Holt, who won his last race.
“With all of our guys, we’re looking at holding them out at different points during the season,” Acuff said. “We don’t want them all running six 8Ks during a two-month period.”
The Bearcats now have their focus set on their next meet at the Lehigh/Paul Short Run in two weeks. Acuff mentioned that the roster Binghamton will set forth will probably be different than this week’s roster.
“I expect Dan [Schaffer] and Eric [Holt] to both compete at Lehigh, as long as they are both healthy,” Acuff said. “We’ll get [senior] Nate Howe back and [senior] Billy Hector.”
Howe and Hector sat out at Buffalo, but Acuff said they will add a lot of experience to the Binghamton roster at Lehigh.
“On an individual level, Eric and Dan have a great shot at doing very well,” Acuff said. “We’re going to be in the most competitive race at Lehigh, so I’m really looking for some high individual performances from the two of them, and I think that will help the team score quite a bit.”
Up next for Binghamton is the Lehigh/Paul Short Run, held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The meet is slotted to begin at 10:15 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.