Bendzinski, Bordash lead cross country

Trashawna Herbert, Contributing Writer

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Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams raced top competition at the Panorama Farms Invitational on Sept. 23. The Bison women competed against 10 other teams, while the men were one of 10 teams to compete.

On the men’s side the Bison finished seventh out of 10 teams with a total of 165 points, while Virginia won with only 55 points. Will Bordash ’18 ranked the highest of the men’s team, placing 16th out of 90 runners. He finished the 8K course with a time of 25:05.3. Chad Sussman ’19 also placed in the top 30 for the Orange and Blue, coming in 27th.

Connor McMenamin ’21, Brian Dengler ’20, and Kyle Adams ’18 rounded out the scoring for the men’s team.

On the women’s side, Christine Bendzinski ’18 continued her success story and took ninth place of 98 runners on the 5K course with a time of 17:47.4. She placed as the top runner for the Bison for the third consecutive race. The Bison placed sixth out of 11 teams in the women’s meet.

“I like to judge my races on how well I held up mentally, and on a tough course like that I’m proud of myself for having full focus and allowing myself to give everything I had,” Bendzinski said.

Trailing Bendzinski, Colleen Buckley ’19 finished 22nd with a time of 18:14.1. Jenna Farmer ’19 also came in the top 30 runners with a time of 18:35.2. Ashley Blair ’21 and Lauren Gronbeck ’20 finished off the scoring for the women.

Head coach Kevin Donner stressed that patience is key when his teams are running against such tough competition. If some of the younger runners remain consistent in their running times, the team can be expected to improve as the Patriot league Championship draws closer next month. Bendzinski commented that facing such intense competition early in the season keeps the team humble and driven and also prepares them for the trials of championship season.

“After the meet this weekend, we all have two weeks off from racing to prepare for our upcoming meets. This is a great opportunity to come closer as one unit, since we’ve been split up for a little while due to travel differences … working on our mental synchronicity and building up trust with one another are key items for us leading up to the championship season,” Bendzinski said.

The Orange and Blue will next compete at the Dickinson Long-Short Invitational on Sept. 30 in Carlisle, Pa.

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