Men’s and women’s cross country take first at the Bison Open

Ross Lazarus and Elise Covert

The Bison cross country teams dominated their season opener at the Bison Open on Sept. 1. Both the men’s and women’s sides finished first out of five teams, earning victories over Juniata, Loyola, Lycoming, and Susquehanna, with a runner for the Orange and Blue placing first overall in each race.

On the men’s side, the race ended in dramatic fashion as four Bison runners were side by side at the finish. Kyle Adams ’18, Will Bordash ’18, Chad Sussman ’19, and Michael Bortolot ’21 were in the pack. As they crossed the finish line, it appeared that Adams was victorious. However, upon video review, Bordash was declared the winner with a 6k time of 19:23 because his torso crossed the finish line first.

“It was fun just to come down the final straightaway with all the spectators there and have us come across four-wide. As a senior, coming across with my co-captain Kyle, Chad, and Mike was something that I will look back on,” Bordash said.

Brendan McGill ’20 also finished in the top five.

“Our first-years ran well and we had some people develop over the summer nicely,” Bordash said. “We are in a tough block of training right now so we just need to focus on consistency and getting better every day.”

On the women’s side, the Bison captured the top seven spots in their 4k race. Christine Bendzinski ’18 took first out of 67 runners with a time of 14:22. As the reigning Patriot League Champion, Bendzinski beat the rest of the field by eight seconds. Tia Tardy ’21 and Jenna Farmer ’19 both came in with a time of 14:30 to earn second and third place, respectively.

The Orange and Blue filled eight of the top ten spots, with three first-years placing. Along with Bendzinski, Tardy, and Farmer, Colleen Buckley ’19, Ashley Blair ’21, Madeleine Hunt ’21, Anna Chiodo-Ortiz ’19, and Christine O’Kane ’19 rounded out the top ten.

“We really just stuck together. We train as a team, we race as a team. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we help each other out,” Tardy said.

Both teams will travel to University Park for the Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 8, looking to carry their success into non-league races.

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