Young talent on display for men’s and women’s XC

Elise Covert, Sports Co-Editor

The men’s cross country team took first of 14 teams at the Dickinson Long-Short Invitational, while the women placed third of 17 on Sept. 30. Young first-year and sophomore runners carried the Bison and proved that both team rosters have depth moving towards League meets.

The men competed in both the 4k and 8k races and won the meet over host school Dickinson by only one point. Drew Dorflinger ’20 led the team with a first place finish in the 4k race out of 148 runners. Dorflinger’s performance was dominant, with a time of 11:54, 15 seconds faster than the second place runner. This was the first individual win of his collegiate cross country career. Jacob Stupak ’20 also had a top ten finish for the Orange and Blue in the 4k.

“I had to take a little over a week off for an injury a few weeks back, so Dickinson was kind of a rustbuster for me. I feel like the key for me was just being confident in my training and my ability to compete at a high level even after being hurt,” Dorflinger said.

In the 8k race, Michael Bortolot ’21 finished in fourth with a time of 26:06 to lead the Bison. Trent Rose ’20 and Ben Siciliano ’20 finished in 10th and 11th, respectively. Two other runners, Brendan McGill ’20 and Ben Littmann ’21 represented the Orange and Blue by placing inside the top 30 .

“We have a really talented group this year but we’ve struggled to keep everyone healthy,” Dorflinger said. He mentioned that if runners can prevent injuries and train consistently, the men should have strong showings in future meets as well.

On the women’s side, the Bison competed in the 4k and 6k races and took third overall at the Invitational, despite resting many top performers. Payton Capes-Davis ’21 stepped up and placed third of 181 with a time of 14:39 in the 4k race to lead the Orange and Blue. Three other women for the Bison, two first-years and one sophomore, finished in the top 30 spots.

In the 6k race, Margaret Thomson ’20 placed fifth of 190 competitors with a time of 22:30. Five Bison women placed in the top 20, a remarkable collective performance, including Christine O’Kane ’19, who finished in 10th.

Looking forward, the team will be splitting up to run at both the Penn State National Open on Oct. 13 and Lafayette’s Leopard Invitational on Oct. 14.

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