Men's Cross Country to Compete at Paul Short Invitational
Sept. 26, 2012
Under the direction of head coach Mike Glavin, the men's cross country team returns 17 letter winners and adds seven new faces to open up the second half of the 2012 season.
"The first half of the cross country season is almost like the scrimmage part. You're trying to find out where you are with your team. I brought in the freshmen who ran 5K in high school and those half-milers who do not like to run the long stuff and they ran in the Blue/Gold Classic and the Temple Invitational. I took the front 50% to the Harry Groves Invitational, which is where the Mid-Atlantic regions are going to be, and that was their time to "shake the cobwebs out." The real stuff gets started this Friday when we go to Paul Short. The race is absolutely humongous."
The 2011 squad saw remarkable success as it placed in the top third of five meets last season, including a first-place finish at the Charlotte Duels, a third-place finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships, and a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. Led by 2011 NCAA Championship participant and graduate Kevin McDonnell, the Hawks demonstrated an undeniable growth toward development and, according to Glavin, that growth is here to stay due to the limitless amount of commitment found among the squad's 25 runners.
"The guys are dedicated, and it's phenomenal," said Glavin. "There are so many facets to coaching, but that part of the job, worrying about whether or not they're out working or not, is not a problem that I have. If anything, my problem is that they want to run too much, but from a coach's point of view, that's a better problem to have."
Donnelly, a transfer from Missouri, joined the team in January of his sophomore year and did not waste any time making an impact. Last season, Donnelly finished fourth on the squad and 42nd overall with a time of 25:56 at the IC4A Championships and placed seventh overall (15:53.80) to help Saint Joseph's win the Charlotte Duels. The senior also placed in the top half of both the Paul Short Invitational, finishing 192nd out of 402 runners, and the Atlantic 10 Championships, placing 50th out of 124 runners.
"In terms of quality, the type of depth that Patrick adds makes us as deep of a squad as we've been in at least a decade or two," stated Glavin. "We're much better this year in depth than we have been in the past."
Mazzio, a 2011 Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team selection out of West Chester, Pa. is described by his head coach as a "phenomenal story" for the Hawks and a "legitimate force in the northeast." Mazzio was a five-time top five finisher for Saint Joseph's in 2011, finishing first on the squad at both the Paul Short Invitational and the IC4As and second with both a seventh-place overall finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships and 24th-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. The senior standout also placed third at the Charlotte Duels, proving to be a crucial element to the team's first-place finish at the meet.
"We go out and find people who we think are going to work to be as good as they can be, and we're banking as coaches that as good as they can be is going to be better than average," discussed Glavin. "Jon was an above-average two-miler out of high school and last fall he was All-Conference, All-Mid Atlantic Region, and All-IC4A Northeast. A guy who was a little better than average just isn't supposed to do that."
Roark came to the Hawks two seasons ago from Quinnipiac and has been solid as a welcomed addition to the Saint Joseph's family of runners. Roark finished in the top five for the Hawks in five of his six meets, including notching personal bests in both the 5K (15:51.87) at the Charlotte Duels and the five-mile (25.52) at the IC4A Championships.
According to Glavin, Manion and Townsend are alike in the sense that they run cross country to prepare for track and field, but both runners have found success is cross country.
Manion undoubtedly found himself a huge part of the team's success last season, placing second on the team and 24th overall with a time of 28:10.97 at the Delaware Invitational 8K.
Townsend ran the first three races of the season for the Hawks in 2011 and notched season bests in the 5K (17:05.40) at the Blue/Gold Classic and the 8K (28:41.32) at the Delaware Invitational, where he finished third on the squad and 28th overall in a field of 46 runners.
At the core of the cross country team's returning group are 12 juniors and sophomores, highlighted by juniors Michael Rankin, Aaron Leskow, and Tommy O'Kane and sophomores Paul Szulewski and Logan Mohn.
Rankin's 2011 season highlight came as he notched a personal best in the 8K at the Atlantic 10 Championships with a time of 25:18, finishing 23rd overall. Leskow competed in three races, placing second at the Charlotte Duels and recording a personal best 8K time of 25:06 at the Princeton Invitational, before being sidelined with an injury. The junior standout was the "number two man" on the squad until the injury and, assuming good health, will work to fill the void left from McDonnell's graduation. O'Kane finished in the top half of four races last season and placed third on the squad and sixth overall at the Blue/Gold Classic, the first meet of the 2011 season.
Szulewski was named the 2011 Rookie of the Year for his 18th-place finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships. The then-freshman landed in the top five for the Hawks five times last season, including a first-place squad and fourth-place overall finish at his debut collegiate race at the Blue/Gold Classic, where he clocked in at 16:00.50. In each of the final four races of the season, Szulewski and the team both finished in the top third.
Mohn ran in seven meets and finished in the top five for the Hawks six times. The highlights of his season came when he finished second of all Hawks at both the Blue/Gold Classic where he finished fifth overall and the Paul Short Invitational, where he crossed the finish line in 118th place out of 402 total runners.
"In that depth I'm talking about," explained Glavin, "we've got three juniors who are going to be really good. Some kind of nod has to go to Mike, Aaron, and Tommy. These are juniors who contributed last year. Then there are two sophomores, Paul and Logan. As freshmen, they proved that they are significant factors in the Atlantic 10 conference. Those two are coming back as sophomores now understanding the training to get stronger."
Rounding out the Hawks experience will be junior Max Margiotta and sophomore Brady Deckert, each of who ran three races last season including the IC4A Championship race, juniors Ryan Anderson and Sean Staltari, and sophomores Steven Butenewicz, Michael Cassidy, and Thomas Harrington.
The Hawks will see new talent in graduate student James McBride, a transfer from Millersville University. McBride ran for four seasons at Millersville, and Glavin believes that this experience will further add to the squad's drive toward success in 2012.
"James adds an enormous amount of qualitative depth to this team. I think that with the group he's now training with that he will get remarkably better by the end of this year."
Six talented freshmen from six different states join the squad in Rhode Island Academic All-State selection Michael Coleman, two-time Pennsylvania All-State First Team selection Quinn Davis, two-time Delaware All-State selection Scott Davis, Massachusetts League All-Star selection John Egan, 5K record-holder at the Loyola School in New York Liam Murphy, and three-time Ocean County, New Jersey champion Joe Tront.
The men's cross country team demonstrated a significant increase in improvement last season, and with Coach Glavin's belief in a 2012 squad that will see 17 letter winners return along with seven new faces of possibility, this season already appears to be a season that will be remembered.