Sept. 5, 2014
PITTSBURGH – Members of Pitt’s cross country teams will compete at both the Seton Hill University Griffin Classic and the University of Buffalo Stampede Invite on Saturday, Sept. 6, when the Panthers open their 2014 schedule.
The Panthers are sending their top nine men and top 10 women runners to the UB Stampede Invite, which will start with the women’s 5K at noon, followed by the men’s 8K at 12:45 p.m. Beaver Island State Park is home to Saturday’s course.
Pitt’s remaining runners will venture to nearby Seton Hill, a mere 45 minutes east, for the SHU Griffin Classic. A total of 30 runners will participate at Seton Hill’s event, 25 women and five men. The women race first, with the gun going off at 10:30 a.m. with the men’s start time set for 11:15 a.m.
This year, Pitt has a much more loaded schedule, thanks to using a split squad during the first two weekends. Next week, Pitt will send runners to University Park, site of the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals in 2014, for the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational as well as Loretto, Pa. for the Father Bede Invitational.
For the first time since at least 2009, the women’s cross country squad begins the season regionally ranked, placing 14th in the United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Mid0Atlantic Region. The team spent all but one week in the regional rankings last year, rising as high as 12th, and finishing the season 15th.
Returning to the women’s squad this year are five of the top runners from last season’s ACC Championships. Seniors Hillary Boxheimer and Morgan Perry and junior Rachel Brown all lead the way. The trio finished top three among Panthers runners in each race they competed in from 2013. Boxheimer was Pitt’s top runner at the 2013 ACC Championships, coming in 69th.
It’s a similar situation on the men’s side, as the Panthers bring back five of their top seven finishers from the 2013 ACC Championships. Senior Cullen Davis, who was 61st at ACC’s, had three top-10 finishes last year, including a fourth place result at Pre-Nationals out of 135 runners. Juniors Michael Runco and Wes Roberts will also be top competitors for Pitt this year.
Once again, Pitt will split its squad next weekend, sending its top runners to University Park, Pa., site of the 2014 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals, for the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. Pitt will also compete at the Father Bede Invitational in Loretto, Pa.
Below is a list of which runners are headed where this weekend: