BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Unlike the last Landmark Cross Country Championships that Moravian College hosted, which saw over four inches of snow fall, the 2016 championship brought temperatures in the upper 60's, setting the scene for a perfect day. The Elizabethtown College men's and women's teams capitalized on the ideal race conditions to capture their third straight Landmark title.
The Blue Jays won the men's race by 16 points to open the day, while the women won by 15 points.
Elizabethtown placed six runners in the top-14 on its way to the first place finish. Senior Keegan McDonough ran his best 8 of the season on his way to a second place finish. McDonough crossed the finish line with a time of 26:03.23. Making his debut in the Landmark Men's Cross Country Championships, freshman Sam Gerstenbacher had a solid outing with a season best time of 26:18.34 to finish in fourth, while senior Andrew Lesko was fifth with a time of 26:30.23. Junior Tom Fitzgerald placed eighth with a time of 26:38.32 and freshman Ryan Rippeon was 12th in his college debut. Senior Nate Liebsch rounded out the top-14 with a 13th place finish.
Juniata finished second with 47 points. Senior Conor Dimond dominated the eight-kilometer course, posting a season best and the second fastest championship time of 25:53.08, and earned medalist honors for being the first to cross the finish line. Classmate Nick Simpson came in third with a time of 26:16.18. Freshmen Peter D'Amico and Desmond O'Donovan rounded out the all-conference performers for Juniata with times of 26:43.99 and 27:00.52 respectively.
Scranton senior Jimmy Buckley led the Royals to a third place finish with 69 points. Buckley posted a time of 26:31.75 on his way to seventh place. Junior David DeLeon was the other Royal in the top-14, finishing in 10th with a time of 26:47.43.
Moravian finished in fourth with 96 points, with freshman Gavin Kemery pacing the Greyhounds with a sixth place finish in 26:30.72. Fellow freshman Greg Jaindl placed in 11th with a time of 26:50.75. Susquehanna finished in fifth with 126 points while Catholic placed sixth with 186 points. Drew placed seventh (213) and Goucher was eighth (224).
On the women's side, Moravian took the top-two spots, with senior Meg Brockett taking home the medalist honor with a time of 21:10.55, which established a new championship record on the 6k course. Her time was also just four seconds off the conference record she set earlier this season. Fellow senior Sarah Hughes was close behind with a time of 21:51.66 for second place. Katie Mayer was the top-performing freshman for the Greyhounds, finishing in sixth with a time of 22:20.60.
The Blue Jays placed eight in the top-14 to finish in first place. Senior Casey Quinto paced E-town with a third place finish and a time of 21:53.86. Juniors Brenna McNamee and Kesley Brady placed fourth and fifth respectively, and junior Maria Anderson crossed the finish line in seventh with a time of 22:62.52. Liz Wedekind, Brianna Earnshaw, Colleen Kernan, and Alexis Groce finished in the top-14 to help give Elizabethtown 28 points.
Moravian finished second in the standings with 43 points, while Susquehanna placed third. Senior Amy Kaschak was the first to cross the finish line for the River Hawks with a time of 22:34.10. Juniata was fourth with 121 points. Scranton finished in fifth with 136 points, led by a 13th place finish by senior Patricia Hoffman. Catholic finished in sixth with 180 points and Goucher (7) and Drew (8) finished with 206 and 240 points respectively.
All-Landmark honors and other award winners will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 2.