WRITTEN BY: JOHN COLE
After one month of racing from the men and women’s Cross Country team, the Owls prepare for a strong October.
The month of September which included 3 meets for Temple’s Cross Country team has come and gone, but lets take a look at what stood out in the opening month of the season.
The first meet of the year was on September 5th in Pittsburgh, PA at the Duquesne Duals. This meet was unique for the men’s team because it started their season off with an 8K course that was challenging according to Coach Snyder. The Owls coach described this as a way to get those coming from high school that are acclimated to 5K races ready to compete at the collegiate level. The three men who led the way for Temple in the first race of the 2015 season were Stephan Listabarth, Alex Izewski, and Matt Kacyon. Listabarth led the way by winning the race with a time of 26:09. Izewski finished 5th overall with a time of 26:22 and Kacyon ran across the finish line with a time of 26:38.2 landing him 9th overall. The fourth and fifth place finishers for the men’s team were both new faces to the program as freshmen Ben Evans clocked in at 27:15.5 and Jonathan Condly completing the 8K at 27:27.8. The men had four top 30 finishers and three of them that landed in the top 10 of the race. Temple’s mens team finished 2nd overall out of 8 teams in the opening race of the season.
The women’s team race at the Duquesne Duals was a 5K race against seven other teams. Leading the Owls in this race was Maddie Bixler who finished with a time of 19:10.4 placed 9th overall. Coming in just 5 seconds after Bixler was Katie Pinson with a time of 19:15.8 finishing 11th overall and Alexis O’Shea rounded out the top 15 overall with a time of 19:20.3. The team finished 5th overall out of 8.
Temple’s men and women left Pittsburgh with a total of 6 runners finishing in the top 15.
Six days after their first race of the season, Temple came back to the City of Brotherly Love and raced at the Big 5 Invitational at Belmont Plateau.
Once again the men had 3 finishers in the top 15, but the distance and order for the Owls were different from the previous race. The men’s course was a 6K with Alex Izewski leading the way with a time of 19:13.5 finishing 5th overall. Matt Kacyon and Stephan Listabarth crossed the finish line only 1 tenth of a second apart finishing 10th and 11th overall with times of 19:18.1 and 19:18.2. Owen Glatts was the fourth Owl this race and cracked the top 30, finishing 27th with a time of 19:50.9. Once again, rounding out the top 5 for Temple was Jonathan Condly who finished 30th overall clocking in at 20:06.6.
Temple’s men finished 3rd out of 5 teams in the Big 5 Invitational.
Stealing the show for the women’s team at Belmont Plateau was Blanca Fernandez who finished 1st overall with a time of 14:11.7 in a 4K race. Katie Pinson who finished second for the Owls a second meet in a row came across the finish line 24th overall with a time of 15:12.9. Alexis O’Shea once again was the 3rd woman to complete the race for Temple who clocked in with a time of 15:37.4 finishing 33rd overall.
Temple’s women finished 5th out of 5 teams that competed in the Big 5 Invitational.
On September 18th, exactly a week after the Owls went head to head with Big 5 foes, Temple for the first time in program history ran at the Main Line Event in Haverford, PA.
Going into this race, Coach Snyder spoke of the men’s team goal being to get the second group of runners, (4th-6th) closer to the top three men. Once again, the top three finishers for the men were in order Izewski, Kacyon, and Listabarth. The men’s course was a 4 Mile race in which Alex Izewski for the second race in a row led the Owls with a time of 19:57 finishing 11th overall. Matt Kacyon cracked the top 20 as well by clocking in at 20:07 finishing 17th overall. Stephan Listabarth was the 25th man to cross the finish line with a time of 20:24. Owen Glatts for the second meet in a row led the second group of runners for the Owls and finished 43rd overall crossing the finish line at 20:53. Rounding out the top 5 for Temple’s men were Will Maltin finishing 50th overall with a time of 21:07.
Temple’s men finished 5th overall out of 7 teams at the Main Line Event.
For Temple’s women it was a different course from the previous week, but the same result as Blanca Fernandez not only led the Owls, but won the 3 mile race in Haverford, PA with a time of 16:27. For the third meet in a row, Katie Pinson was the second finisher for Temple’s women when she came across the finish line with a time of 18:10. The next two to cross the finish line for the Owls were Maddie Bixler and Alexis O’Shea who finished 36th and 38th overall. The next four women for Temple to cross the finish line finished 44th-47th overall with times ranging from 19:14-19:22.
Temple’s women finished 4th overall out of 7 teams at the Main Line Event.
After the month of September, Coach Snyder said, “We’re where I thought we would be this time of year.” It’s important to remember that this Temple program has a lot of young talent that is just getting it’s first taste of collegiate running.
After the first month of the season, Temple has had a runner win in each race thus far with Listabarth winning at the Duquense Duals and Blanca Fernandez winning in the Big 5 Invitational and the Main Line Invitational. Blanca Fernandez was awarded American Athletic Conference woman runner of the week in back to back weeks after winning both of the races she has competed in. Coach Snyder said that Fernandez is, “Truly a world class athlete; somebody we’re incredibly fortunate to have in our program and is somebody that I am incredibly fortunate to have an opportunity to work with. She’s somebody who has aspirations of making an Olympic team at some point.” Coach Snyder also talked about how her mindset towards the sport is contagious for her teammates.
The last weekend of the month was the only weekend that Temple did not have a race, but the month of October will have 4 races. Temple will be competing this Friday at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, PA and will be a great place for the team to get some recognition as this will be one of the more elite races they will run in this season.