The Bluejay cross country teams competed in the Big East Championships Friday in Carmel, Indiana, where the men placed eighth and the women placed ninth overall.
Leading the men’s scoring contingent in the eight kilometer race for the fourth time in the five meets this season was senior John Quigley who posted a time of 26:22.7 and finished 41st overall.
The promising freshman Ryan Montera continued his scorching start to his collegiate racing career, coming in a couple seconds behind Quigley in 44th with a time of 26:25.2.
The next two point-scorers for the Jays also crossed the line close together as senior Aidan King posted one of his best results of the fall at the 26:52.2 mark in 53rd, followed by sophomore Marcos Gonzalez in 55th at 26:55.6.
Not long after, the fifth and final scorer for the Bluejays, junior Danny Bohneman, crossed the line at 27:04.2 in 59th.
On the women’s side in the 6K, it was unsurprisingly senior Danielle Hotalling who took charge and grabbed some big points for the Jays, finishing in 27th place overall with a time of 22:15.0.
Friday’s race was Hotalling’s 19th of her collegiate career and the 19th time that she was the top Jays finisher.
“What [Hotalling’s consistency] does is just elevate everybody around her,” coach Chris Gannon said.
The Bluejays’ second fastest Friday was the also consistent senior Marguerite Hendrickson who earned 45th with a time of 23:05.0.
“It had rained for two days straight and the course was basically a mud slide so it was less about your time and more about how you placed and I placed as I expected I would,” Henrickson said.
Behind the two seniors was sophomore Caroline Colburn who finished in 61st with a time of 22:15.0. The trio of freshman Abby Parker, junior Ashley Riley, and freshman Kat Shein battled it out to the finish line to be the Jays’ scoring anchors at around the 24:24 mark, finishing in 71st, 72nd and 73rd, respectively.
Despite the eighth and ninth place finishes for the teams, the results are promising for the Jays.It should be noted that the Big East is a competitive running conference and Two men’s and women’s teams the Jays raced against Friday are nationally ranked with other teams on either side receiving votes.
“What some people don’t realize about the Big East is how good the conference is at cross country and running,” Gannon said.
Both the men and women have made significant improvements from prior years to close in on their opponents.
For instance, in 2018’s Big East championship, the men’s team finished 119 points behind the fifth place team, but Friday they trailed fifth place DePaul by only 32 points.
Both teams will train for two weeks prior to the NCAA Midwest Regionals on Friday, Nov. 12 in Iowa City, Iowa where they will continue battling for improved positions amongst tough competition.