The friendly competition between Michael McGowan ’15 and John Dugan ’15 continues to push the men’s cross country team towards success. Dugan and McGowan both finished inside the top three, as the Orange and the Blue finished first in Penn State’s Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 13.
The Bison finished six points ahead of Penn State to capture the title. Both Dugan and McGowan were pleased with the team’s strong performance against stiffer competition in the second meet of the season.
“We were facing some better competition this week, so it was a good opportunity to test ourselves,” Dugan said. “We were excited to come out with a win, but there were some things we could do better.”
“Even though Penn State held out one of their best runners, it was a strong showing for us. I think we improved on a lot of things we did wrong last week. There was some good pack running this week,” McGowan said.
McGowan ran the 5.2-mile race in 26:03. He has been the fastest Bison runner in the first two meets of the season; a feat that earned him Bison Athlete of the Week on Sept. 16.
“I think it is pretty cool that I had best athletic performance of all fall sports this past week. I feel honored because cross country is not one of the most recognized sports on campus,” McGowan said.
Dugan, who was only eight seconds behind his teammate, finished third overall in the race. Both teammates agree that training with one another helps tremendously.
“I think running with Michael everyday is great for both of us. We get to work out and train together every practice. When we run together we’re very confident we can compete against whomever,” Dugan said.
The Orange and the Blue have gotten off to a strong start. While the team ran better this week, the two friends are still looking for the entire team to continue working on running well in a pack in addition to overall more consistent running in meets.
“I like where we are at right now and I think if we can stay healthy, which was a big problem for us last year, then we will be in good position if we continue to work hard and take care of business like we’re supposed to,” Dugan said.
The Bison return to action when the team travels to Boston to run in the Boston College Coast to Coast on Sept. 27. They will also compete in the Bloomsburg Invitational on Sept. 28.