Bullets rise to the challenge of home invite
By Isabella Baxter, Contributing Writer
This past Saturday, October 18, the men’s and women’s cross country teams placed 10th and 5th, respectively at the 26th Annual Gettysburg Invitational. The women’s race featured 36 teams and the men’s race featured 34 teams. Despite wet and extremely windy conditions, the meet was highly anticipated by both the men’s and women’s squads. Captain Nate Cody shared, “The home invite is a great opportunity to run in front of our home fans on our own course.”
Bucknell University won the women’s race with a team score of 35 points. Following them was Waynesburg University, placing 2nd with 128 points and Susquehanna University rounded out the top 3 with a team score of 183. The Bullets finished in 5th place with 186 points, making this the third year in a row that the team made it into the top 5 at their home invite.
Captain Jackie Marotto remarked on the Bullets’ performance: “We had a really good race on Saturday as a team. We wanted to finish in the top 5, and we were just 3 points out of 3rd place. We took advantage of our home course and the excitement on campus.”
Leading the Bullets for the women was first-year Elizabeth Hilfrank, running the 6000 meter course in 23:37. Hilfrank cracked the race’s top 20, finishing 15th out of 394 runners. Also finishing in the top 20 was junior Julie Laudenschalger, taking 19th place with a time of 23:44. Junior Katie Burns placed 57th in 24:44; followed closely by classmates Emily Hartman, 61st with a time of 24:49 and Holly Scott, 63rd with a time of 24:52. Rounding out the team’s top seven were seniors Alyssa Beyer, 77th with a time of 25:15 and Jackie Marotto, taking 78th in a time of 25:16.
Marotto views this race as a positive indicator for the Conference Championships. She commented, “We’ve had some difficulties with injuries this season, but I think that our performance on Saturday proves that we will still be competitive in the Conference Championship in two weeks.”
Bucknell University also won the men’s race with 75 points, followed by Washington and Lee University in 2nd with 137 points and Messiah College with 142 points. The Gettysburg men’s squad placed 10th with 299 points, just 4 points shy of 9th place. Sophomore Ben Taber finished first for the Bullets, placing 21st out of 355 runners. Taber ran the 8000 meter course in 26:37. Next was senior Ryan Raush, 54th at a time of 27:32, and junior Tyler Sadka, 56th at 27:33. Juniors Noah Rossiter, who finished 82nd in 27:59, and Nate Cody, taking 121st with a time of 28:37, followed shortly behind. Sophomore Nate Wojick placed 134th in 28:45 and junior Jackson Davis finished in the team’s top-seven, placing 158th with a time of 29:13.
Cody commented, “It wasn’t our strongest performance of the year, but we now have two weeks to refocus and get back to work before the Conference Championship. We are in an extremely competitive conference, but we have raised our expectations.”
The Bullets will race one more time before the Conference Championship on November 1. They will use the next week to refocus and will hit the ground running again on Friday, October 25 at the Lebanon V alley Invitational.