Jason Ben Nathan/Sun File Photo

The best seven runners from the men's and women's teams will travel to State College, Pennsylvania for the Penn State Invitational on Oct. 15.

October 6, 2021

Cross Country Takes On Paul Short Invitational

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The Red competed in Lehigh University’s Paul Short Invitational on Friday, earning top-10 team finishes for the men’s and women’s teams. The annual race is nationally renowned for its high level of competition and features hundreds of runners from several teams across the East Coast.

The men’s team secured eighth place for the overall team competition — led by senior captain Matthew Fusco, who finished 27th overall, with a new personal record of 23:56.0. Matthew Fusco’s twin brother and fellow senior captain Greg Fusco followed in 48th place, with his own new personal record of 24:19.1. 

They were followed by junior Rishabh Prakash (55th, 24:24.4), senior Caleb McCurdy (74th, 24:34.2), junior Perry Mackinnon (88th, 24:44.0), senior Marek Nowak (103rd, 24:51.0) and senior Jamie Granata (105th, 24:52.2). 

These results are especially notable, as three of the top seven runners experienced a fall during the race. 

“Given the circumstances, we all performed really well,” Matthew Fusco said. “We really haven’t raced in a competitive scheme for a long time and we were able to perform well. We jumped a bunch of spots for regional ranking. Overall, it’s definitely a good day.” 

The women’s team placed 10th overall, with junior Rebecca Hasser leading the way to secure the 43rd position and a new personal record of 20:57.8. Senior captain Isa Meyers followed — finishing in 46th place with another personal record of 21:02.7. 

Sophomore Izzy MacFarline placed 48th with a personal record time of 21:03.7, and freshman Sierra Burror claimed 111th with a time of 21:50.0. Senior captain Lucy Hurt ran a personal record time of 22:01.3 to secure the 127th position. Freshman Margaret Dalseth (158th, 22:17.9) and junior Sarah Roffman (163rd, 22:21.6) followed, with Roffman also securing a new personal record. 

Hasser said performing well on such a competitive course like the one at the Paul Short Invitational allows runners to showcase their abilities and gain confidence in their potential to contribute to the team.

“It was great,” Hasser said. “We haven’t really raced in a couple years so getting back out there and going to this big meet reminded us what cross country is all about. We’re able to do the sport we love again.”

The Red will return to competition on Oct. 15, sending the top seven runners to the Penn State Invitational hosted by Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania. The remaining runners will head to the University of Albany’s R.K. Munsey XC Invitational in Albany, New York, the same weekend.