GROVE CITY, PA – For the second consecutive year, the19th-ranked Allegheny men’s cross country team opened the season with a convincing victory at the Grove City College Kickoff Invitational.
Led by first-place finisher Dan Cheung, the Gators boasted seven runners in the top 10 and 12 in the top 20 in the 42-man race to accumulate just 18 points, easily outdistancing themselves from second-place Grove City (42 points). Waynesburg placed third with a score of 84, while Thiel closed out the four-team field with 115 points.
“I’m proud of the team for a very good opening race,” said head coach Ben Mourer ’07. “It was a good start to the season. We had a well-executed race plan, and it certainly didn’t hurt that it was perfect weather and a really fast course.”
Cheung, who earned All-America honors at the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championship, traversed the three-mile course in 15:15.39, a shade over four seconds in front of teammate Carter Smith (15:19.78).
After Grove City’s Daniel Christiansen claimed third place, spots four through seven were each occupied by Gators. Junior John Hughes took fourth in 15:39.94, while senior Randy Violette placed fifth (15:48.40), and classmate Emmett Barr sixth (16:00.69).
Louis McUmber opened his sophomore campaign with an eighth-place time of 16:05.78, while junior Justin Koch closed out the top-10 with a mark of 16:27.95. In all, Allegheny had 12 runners place 19th or better, as Ben Evans placed 14th (16:47.54), Caleb Enis 16th (16:53.14), Seth Conard 17th (16:54.79), Gabriel Herbst 18th (16:55.79), and Christian Greer 19th (17:03.29).
“It was a good race for our runners to gain some confidence, and to gauge where we are this early in the season moving forward,” Mourer said.
The Gators will return to action on Sept. 17, traveling to Latrobe, Pennsylvania to take part in the Saint Vincent College Bearcat Challenge.