Mids Race to Fifth Place Finish at Paul Short Run
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - In its final tune-up before the 2017 Army-Navy Star Meet, the Navy men's cross country team came out and turned in high-level results at the 44th annual Paul Short Run. Tackling the 8k Goodman Campus Cross Country Course in Bethlehem, Pa., the Mids kept a tight pack and finished fifth overall with 193 points in a field of 40 teams. Kevin Murray (So., Wilmington, Del.) led Navy on Friday with a 17th-place finish at 23:57.
Testing itself against a field filled with teams from across the nation, the Mids challenged No. 17 Georgetown (1st in Mid-Atlantic Poll) and Penn (4th in M-A) for regionally supremacy. The Hoyas took that challenge with a runner-up finish of 167 points. Penn placed fourth at 187, six points ahead of Navy. Overall, Utah State earned the team title with 119 points. Following Georgetown in the standings was Adams State, the top-ranked DII team in the nation, with 179 points.
In terms of Patriot League competition, Navy was the flag bearer for the conference ahead of Army (284) in seventh, American (529) in 19th, Lehigh (541) in 20th and Boston U. (599) in 22nd.
Individually, Murray was the top-finishing Mid. The sophomore's time of 23:57 put him within seven seconds of the top-10. Navy's next three counters all came in close together as Josh Hanna (Sr., Winfield, Kan.), Cory Donley (Sr., Salina, Kan.) and Jake Brophy (So., New Hope, Pa.) came in 31st, 34th and 35th with respective times of 24:10, 24:13 and 24:15.
The fight for the Mids' fifth and final counter came down to the line as the trio of Gabriel Collison (Sr., La Crescenta, Calif.), Jacob Shewbert (So., Flowery Branch, Ga.) and Michael Karls (Jr., Festus, Mo.) clocked in within four seconds of each other in 76th, 84th and 87th place at 24:41, 24:44 and 24:45, respectively.
Navy's 44-second spread for its top-five runners was second-best amongst teams that finished in the top-10.
"We are improving," remarked head coach Al Cantello. "We went up against a couple of ranked teams and got slapped around a little bit like a prairie dog, but the important thing is that we're learning."
Navy will step away from meet action for a week and prepare for a showdown with its archrival Army on Saturday, Oct. 14 in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.