Cross country men’s and women’s teams place eighth out of ten in Patriot League Championships


Men’s and women’s cross country teams both earned eighth place out of ten at the Patriot League Championships. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

The Lafayette men’s and women’s cross country team continued their fall season on last Saturday at the Patriot League Championships. The meet, which was held at Bucknell, was their biggest meet of the season thus far. The task was difficult with the muddy conditions, which caused runners across the board to struggle and underperform.

The Lafayette men’s team finished eighth out of ten, led by sophomore Michael Neeson, who finished 45th out of 111 with a time of 27:27.8. Rounding out the top five for Lafayette were freshmen Brian Clayton (53rd, 27:32.7), senior Mark DiPaola (58th, 27:42.5), sophomore Thomas Anthony (63rd, 27:45.7), and junior Calvin Schneck (69th, 27:57.4).

Although the conditions were tough and the outcome wasn’t what the team wanted or expected, Neeson’s take on the race was positive.

“It was a tough meet,” he said. “The conditions were tough and we missed our goal of beating Holy Cross by a few points. However, I’m still proud of how everyone ran.”

Neeson said he is looking forward to the years to come, as the team is loaded with young talent and looking to improve. He said the number of freshmen on the team is having a positive effect overall, and the team is continuing to grow.

“We have a lot more depth this year,” Neeson said. “We also have some really good freshmen who are carrying their weight on the team. Our coach is a second year coach, and overall we are more experienced then last year.”

For the women, the Leopards also finished eighth out of 10, led by freshman Autumn Sands, who finished 33rd out of 110 runners with a time of 23:04.8. Rounding out the top five women finishers was senior Caroline Harmon (37th, 23:09.8),  sophomore Gabrielle Galletta (52nd, 23:25.3), junior Margaret Schiazza (54th, 23:28.3), and sophomore Ainsley Jacobs (58th, 23:35.4).

Although Sands said the team could’ve performed better in better conditions, she said is proud of how the team performed and is looking forward to the future.

“We could’ve run better, the team had an off day and the conditions played a large role in that,” Sands said. “The course got beat up quickly and everyone was struggling on it.”

“I really like the team,” Sands added. “Everyone is very nice, but also very competitive. My high school was a large public high school, so our meets were very big. The biggest difference between college and high school is the number of miles I’m running per week and there’s a lot more freedom in training.”

Sands said she wasn’t disappointed with own performance, but still wishes she did better.

“I lost my shoe in the first mile, and that was tough to overcome,” she said. “I could have run better if I had two shoes, but I can’t complain given the circumstances.”

The Leopards are gearing up for their district meet, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 9.