Sept. 19, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- Pitt cross country will be back in action on Saturday, making the trip to Latrobe, Pa., for the St. Vincent Invitational. Competition begins at 10 a.m. with the men's eight-kilometer race followed by the women's 5K at 11:15 a.m.
Just as was the case with last week's Spiked Shoe Invitational hosted by Penn State, the Panthers have little experience with the St. Vincent Invite. No current Pitt runner has competed in Latrobe.
The Panthers and the Bearcats aren't complete strangers though. The schools' men's teams faced off at the Duquesne Duals a few weeks ago. Pitt won 19-42 against St. Vincent's, finishing each of its top seven before St. Vincent's third runner.
Pitt's top groups have been consistent early in the season. On the men's side, Cullen Davis, who was the first Panther across the finish line at Penn State last Friday, Michael Runco, Rich Addison and Luke Swomley have made up Pitt's leading four in each of the team's two meets this fall.
Six of the first seven women for Pitt have also been the same in both meets although there has been some shuffling among that unit. Only Morgan Perry, who was second on the team and placed among the top 20 overall at both the Duquesne Duals and Spiked Shoe Invite, maintained her position. Hillary Boxheimer took the team's top spot at Duquesne, but she was replaced by Dee Dee Adams at Penn State. Also in that steady group of six are Cayla Del Piano, Karli O'Neill and Paige Anderson.
Adams placed 14th overall at Penn State to lead Pitt. That made her the first Panther rookie to lead the team since Rachel Brown did it last year at the Paul Short Invitational on Sept. 28.
While the women's squad has been dominated by youth - junior Perry and senior Stephanie Powers are the only Panthers older than sophomore status to score this season - freshmen have been playing an equally important role in the men's success. Wes Roberts and Chris Pastore have both scored for the Panthers in each meet, and Josh Trzeciak earned that distinction last week as well. Finishing just outside the top seven so far has been fellow rookie Chris Montgomery, but the quartet has remained bunched in the results throughout the young season.
After racing at St. Vincent's, two of the next three meets for Pitt will be in Indiana. First up on the schedule is the Notre Dame Invitational set for the afternoon of Oct. 4 in South Bend. A return to Pittsburgh for the CMU Invite (Oct. 12) and then back to Indiana for Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute (Oct. 19) will wrap up the month of October and the regular season.
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