Pack Running Keys DePaul's Second-Place Finish in Season Opener
Aug. 31, 2012
ELMHURST, Ill. - Overall, this was a promising start to the 2012 cross country season.
Led by Eddie McDaniel's fourth-place finish, the DePaul men's team placed second Friday night in the Elmhurst College Earlybird Invitational at Eldridge Park.
The Blue Demons' strategy of running with a pack mentality paid off as Ian Sanchez crossed the finish line in eighth followed by Herald Alvarez in 10th. Max Clink came in 17th and Zak Koronkiewicz was 19th.
"We came out with a purpose and wanted to stay close to NCAA Division III national champion North Central," said DePaul cross country assistant coach Leah Bohr. "We started the season strong and didn't have three of our guys run tonight.
"Eddie ran a real strong race and led in the beginning. Ian ran well and mixed up his race plan to help the team. Alvarez led our guys' pack for a while and set the tone for our group by staying right with the North Central guys."
North Central, which has won two national titles in the last three years, came in first Friday with 28 points while runner-up DePaul had 56.
"We were very pleased to have three of the top 10 finishers," Bohr said. "We wanted to give North Central a good run."
"Molly ran a terrific race and was a pleasant surprise for us," Bohr said. "She showed us that she is going to be a force on the team this season.
"The women came away with a solid team performance, and the leadership was outstanding."
The University of Chicago topped the women's teams and the University of St. Francis was second.
Last year's DePaul men's team was dominated by All-BIG EAST Conference performer Matthew Graham, who has graduated.
"We're not going to be relying so much on one individual this year," Bohr said. "There's a lot of balance on this team, and different guys will be in the mix each week."
Next up for the Blue Demons is the NIU Open Friday, Sept. 7 at Northern Illinois in DeKalb.