Cross Country Falters at Pre-National Invitational
Oct. 16, 2011
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Facing arguably its toughest competition of the year so far, the DePaul men’s and women’s cross country squads faltered at the Pre-National Invitational hosted by Indiana State University on Sunday afternoon.
Competing on a rolling cross country course for the first time this season, Matthew Graham was the first to cross the finish line for the Blue Demons.
On the race, head coach Dave Dopek said, “The talented field gave Matt a great opportunity to test his mettle against some of the best in the nation.”
Dopek called Graham’s 23rd-place finish “not his usual dominant performance,” but the senior clocked in with time of 24:43.
Behind him, Zak Koronkiewicz crossed at 26:22 followed seconds later by sophomore Chris Miedema who finished at 26:49. Senior Dennis Baliga was the fourth Blue Demon to finish for the men with a time of 26:51 as Dopek noted that all three “ran tough, focused races to round out our top four.”
Colorado took home first place in the men’s race, followed by Portland and Iona. As a team, the Blue Demon men finished 29th overall.
On the women’s side, the Blue Demons had another tough weekend. Dopek said following the race that the DePaul women “were unable to take advantage of the prime opportunity to rise up to a higher level of competition.”
Florida State took home first overall in the women’s race with Georgetown, Michigan, and Cornell behind them. The Blue Demons placed 36th.
First across for DePaul in the women’s 6k was Toni Salvatore, who completed the course at the 23:20 mark. Fellow senior Kelly Pickering finished behind Salvatore with a time of 23:41 followed by Claire O’Brien (23:46) and Taylor Hynes (24:41).
Up next for the Blue Demons is the BIG EAST Conference Championship meet on October 29th in Louisville, Ky.
“In order for [DePaul] to be ready for the BIG EAST Conference meet in two weeks, we are going to have to work on being more aggressive,” Dopek said regarding his squad’s next challenge.