The Binghamton men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their respective seasons with the Paul Short College Invitational hosted by Lehigh University this past weekend. Led by redshirt sophomore Dan Schaffer, who won the men’s 8,000-meter Brown Race for his second career win, the men’s team placed seventh overall out of 44 teams. Freshman Aziza Chigatayeva was the women’s top finisher while the team placed 17th out of 43 teams.
In a race that featured 364 runners, Schaffer recorded a time of 24:37, good for second-best in Binghamton history for the 8,000-meter course, placing sixth across all four men’s races that day.
“[Schaffer]’s performance was really impressive,” said BU head coach Annette Acuff. “We expected him to go out and perform well and he seemed really happy with his run as well.”
Following behind Schaffer was redshirt junior Daryn Hutchings, who placed 30th with a time of 25:41. Hutchings is looking to improve on standout performances from his sophomore year, during which he was the team’s lead runner in three meets, recording two top-10 finishes and a top-five finish in the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup.
Binghamton’s teams both competed against several interconference rivals, with the men’s team finishing behind Stony Brook and outperforming Hartford. The men’s team will be looking to continue its performance against other America East (AE) competition, ultimately preparing for the AE Championship on Oct. 27.
The women’s team outperformed its conference rivals, UMBC, which finished 26th, and Hartford, which took 40th out of 43 teams. The women were led by Chigatayeva, who finished 31st out of 363 runners with a time of 22:33, a minute and 31 seconds behind first.
“Chigatayeva learned a lot from this first meet, as she’s taking the transition from high school to college cross country very well, and isn’t afraid to go out there and compete with top runners,” Acuff said.
Behind Chigatayeva was sophomore Kaylee Stone with a time of 23:11, good for 68th, and senior Erika Yamazaki who finished 86th with a time of 23:25.
Both teams suffered from injuries to top runners and their performances were damaged by their absence. Among inactive runners was redshirt freshman Kevin Moshier, who excelled in high school as a four-time track and field champion.
“We were missing a couple of our top runners from both teams at this meet, which hurt us at the Lehigh meet,” Acuff said. “So now we’re focusing on getting everyone healthy in the next few weeks and getting ready for the Princeton Invitational.”
Up next, both the men’s and women’s teams will be competing at the Princeton Invitational in Princeton, New Jersey on Oct. 12. The time for the meet’s commencement is to be announced.