LINCROFT, N.J. - The Saint Joseph's men's cross country squad opened the 2019 season in convincing fashion, winning both the SR./JR. race and the SO./FR. race at the 2019 Monmouth Kick-Off Invitational, held at Thompson Park and Saturday morning. The Hawks totaled 30 points with an average 6k time of 19:05.

Junior Matthew Scarpill led the way for the Crimson and Gray in the SR./JR. race with a third-place finish (18:56.2 PR) in a field of 35, followed by senior captain Zach Michon (4th, 18:57.0) and junior Bobby Hastie (5th, 18:57.9 PR) as the group turned in an extremely close spread of just 1.7 seconds.

"Our idea was to go in strong and execute our game plan, which we did," said Scarpill following the race. "We had a really big pack leading up to two miles, and once we started to move from there, it went to me, Zach, and Bobby and we really progressed from there. It was a really strong effort, and I'm happy with everyone's performance."

Senior Antonio Amaral (12th, 19:15.6 PR) and graduate student captain Tommy Higley (16th, 19:22.5 PR) rounded out the scoring for the Crimson and Gray while seniors Colin Gallagher (17th, 19:29.0 PR) and Josh Clark (24th, 20:40.1) finished as SJU's #6 and #7 runners.

In the SO./FR. race, sophomore George Steinhoff (19:31.7 PR) led with a fifth-place finish in a field of 48, followed by rookie Colin Kane (6th, 19:32.4 PR) and sophomore Ben Bunch (7th, 19:33.2 PR).

Sophomore Zach Smith (11th, 19:43.5 PR) and rookie Matthew Coffey (13th, 19:47.9 PR) rounded out the scoring for the victors.

Also of note, fellow rookies Andrew Rebele and Brendan Campbell made their collegiate debuts.

The Hawks return to action at the George Mason Invitational next Friday, September 13 at 4:30 p.m. The race will be held at the Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va, and select Hawks will earn the opportunity to compete on the course that will play host to the 2019 Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championship on November 2.