Gettysburg runs Paul Short Invitational
By Bethany Holtz, Sports Editor
The Gettysburg men’s and women’s cross country teams are off and running toward another great season. This past weekend the Bullets competed at the prestigious Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University. The men scored an impressive 122 points earning them third place, while the women racked up 816 points placing them at 34th among 40 teams.
First-year Elizabeth Hilfrank shared that both the men‘s and women’s teams brought their determination and energy to Saturday’s meet, which is exactly what they needed. With slick conditions due to rain and a field of tough competitors, the Bullets found themselves tested to their full potential. Every year the Paul Short Invitational is one of Gettysburg’s most challenging meets as they contend against a mixed field of Division I, II, and III teams.
This year marked the 41st annual Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh and presented by Asics and Schuylkill V alley Sports. The Paul Short Invitational is one of the country’s largest cross-country meets with over 5,500 runners from 400 teams competing at the all-day event.
Included in this year’s field of teams were three Top 25 nationally-ranked Division I men’s team, three Top 25 nationally-ranked Division I women’s teams, five nation- ally-ranked Division II men’s teams, two nationally-ranked Division II women’s teams, four nationally-ranked Division III men’s teams, and seven nationally-ranked Division III women’s teams.
Despite the tough weather conditions and advanced competitors, the Bullets showed their true orange and blue spirit. Competitors on both the men’s and women’s team earned impressive times and places. They demonstrated the never-quit attitude that Head Coach Aubrey Shenk instills in all of his runners from day one.
Leading the way for the women’s team was Hilfrank, who came in 99th among 357 runners. Hilfrank dominated the Women’s Brown 6k course with a time of 23:16. Hilfrank said, “I was very happy with my performance Saturday as I am just getting used to racing 6ks. I have been pleasantly surprised by my progression this fall and am looking forward to a great rest of the season!”
Ten seconds behind Hilfrank was junior Julie Laudenschlager who placed 121st with a time of 23:26. Juniors Holly
Scott and Katie Burns also came in just behind Hilfrank with times of 24:07 and 24:27 respectively. Senior Alyssa Beyer came in at 24:30 to finish among the top two thirds of the field.
Rounding out the team score for the women were junior Emily Hartman and senior Jackie Marotto. Hartman came in 218th with a time of 24:38, a collegiate-best by 37 seconds. Marotto came in at 25:10 earning herself 250th place finish.
On the men’s team, sophomore Ben Taber led the Bullets to a strong team finish with an impressive 5th place finish out of 220 runners. Taber finished with a time 26:07, a personal collegiate-best time, on the 8,000 meter Men’s White course.
Taber finished just 14 seconds behind race winner Paul Juelis from Ramapo University.
Behind Taber was junior Jackson Davis who finished 13th at 26:33. Senior Ryan Rausch finished third for the Bullets with a time of 27:14, earning him 32nd. Junior Tyler Sadka followed in 34th with a collegiate-best time of 27:17 and junior Nathan Cody finished the team scoring with a time of 27:23 at 38th.
Sophomore Nathan Wojick and junior Noah Rossiter also competed from the men’s team but did not contribute to the team score. Wojicj came in 48th with a time of 27:32. Rossiter took 54th in 27:42. Saturday’s results make it clear the Bullets are sprinting their way to a solid finish in both the Centennial Conference and individual races this season. Gettysburg is currently at the midpoint of its season, but if the team continues to compete and progress at its current pace, the Bullets are sure to become a force to be reckoned with.
Rising star Hilfrank comments, “Both the men and women have been performing great this season. Everyone is stepping up and doing what they have to so we can have the best outcome. I think we will have a fantastic rest of the season!”
The Bullets will next lace up their running shoes on October 18 at the 26th annual Gettysburg Invitational. The race will begin at 11:00 a.m. and can be watched from several vantage spots on campus.