The USF men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto this past Saturday, and both squads fared well against tough competition.
Redshirt senior Jose Madera and junior Eric Causey were the key runners for the men’s team, as Madera finished third overall and Causey finished fourth. Their back-to-back finish led to USF ranking fifth overall in a group consisting of 18 Division I schools.
Causey and Madera led the way for USF with the same exact 23:35 finish, but they were not the only contributors. Senior Jarrett Moore finished 36th overall in the competition with a time of 24:34, and freshman Mohamed Aziz finished 66th overall, completing the 8,000 meter (4.97 mile) course in 24:53.
Washington State finished first in the team competition, although Stanford had the two best individual runners in the race with Joe Rosa and Maxim Korolev finishing just milliseconds apart from each other.
USF men’s cross country will not compete again until Oct. 10, when they will participate in the San Francisco State Invitational at Golden Gate Park.
USF decided to rest some of its top female runners, but the women’s team still finished 14th overall in a 6,000 meter (3.73 mile) course that featured runners from 21 different schools.
In the crowded, competitive race, the Dons got some positive results from some of its younger competitors. Sophomore Daryl Phill led all individual runners for USF with a time of 22:39 that gave her a 77th-place finish. Among other runners, freshman Elise Tello finished 100th overall with a time of 22:55, and freshman Erin Thomas ran the course in 23:24, good for 148th place.
Stanford won the team competition, while Abby Reagan of Washington State was the best individual runner, speeding to a time of 20:31.
The Dons, who sat out standout runners such as junior Elena Burkard and graduate student Jana Soethout, will race next at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 3. The team is expected to use all of its runners in that competition.