Cross country hosts the Bison Open to kickoff the season

Zakee Willis , Contributing Writer

Both the Bison men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their season on Aug. 31 in the Bison Open. Facing tough weather conditions, both teams overcame adversity and displayed strong performances. 

On the men’s side, competing in a field of 130 runners, Connor McMenamin ’21 and Jacob Stupak ’20 both clinched top-10 finishes in the 6k race. McMenamin finished in seventh place overall with a time of 19:06. Just four seconds later, Stupak followed his teammate over the finish line.

Chad Sussman ’19 finished 21st at 19:31 while Brendan O’Toole ’22 finished 27th at 19:38 in his first collegiate race. The top six spots went to runners representing Cornell and Penn.

“I thought Connor and Jake looked very good,” Head Coach Kevin Donner said. “We trained through the meet and held a few of our better runners out. It was a good rust buster and gives us a gauge of where we are at.”

Meanwhile in the women’s 4k race, six members for the Orange and Blue finished in the top 30 places. Payton Capes ’21 finished 12th overall at 14:20, while after coming off an injury, Margaret Thomson ’19 claimed 19th place.Christine O’Kane ’19 crossed the line with a time of 14:33 in 24th place.

“Payton is in good shape right now and ran a nice race,” Donner said. “It was good to see Thomson pour it on in the second 2k. She is coming off an injury and will only get better.”

Three first-years claimed the Bison’s remaining three top 30 finishes, with Emily Deschler ’22 finishing in 22nd at 14:31, Olivia Dyer ’22 crossed at 14:38 in 28th and Nora Bennett ’22 in 29th at 14:41.

Both teams will compete on Sept. 8 at the Detroit Mercy Invite. The men’s and women’s teams each clinched first place the last time they competed in this event in 2016, with Jenna Farmer ’19, Lauren Gronbeck ’20, O’Kane, Drew Dorflinger ’20, Ben Siciliano ’20, Brian Dengler ’20, and Stupak all finishing in the top 10 of their respective races.

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