Cross country stampede
Michael Bauer | sports editor
Senior Jessica Macy made quite a debut for the Pittsburg State women’s cross country team. She won the season’s opening race with a time of 16:52 at the Missouri Southern Stampede Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, and helped her team to a second-place finish with 59 points.
Southwest Baptist won the meet with a total of 34 points.
It was Macy’s first race as a Pitt State runner despite being a senior and it surprised even her head coach.
“She’s got some talent and has improved a lot over the last few years and has found a program that works for her and has good chemistry,” said Russ Jewett, head coach. “She’s surprised me a little bit.”
Macy finished the race almost a minute ahead of the second-place finisher, Ewa Zaborowska of Harding University, who ran 17:29 in the 5-kilometer race.
“Jessica Macy is very fit, had a good first race and did a good job for not having to race collegiate for a while,” Jewett said.
Second runner to finish for the Gorillas was senior Casey Epps, who finished ninth in with a time of 18:11.
Junior Alex Moase finished 15th in a time of 18:27 and freshman Carlin Greene was 16th with 18:32.
Greene was followed by freshman Paige White , who was two places and two seconds behind in 18:34.
“There was more good than not,” Jewett said. “I think we’ve got some more work to do on both teams but I was pleased with several individual races.”
The Pitt State women edged out rivals Missouri Southern State by 39 points and were second out of the 17 schools that competed.
On the men’s team, sophomores Austin Bogina and Chris Wise finished in ninth and 10th respectively, in times of 25:28 and 25:33 for an 8-kilometer race.
“I was pleased with Austin Bogina and the aggressive nature he had in that race, going hard that first mile,” Jewett said.
Bogina is a red shirt sophomore and had been searching for a good performance.
Jewett says he believes he made a statement after battling through injuries in his last three years at PSU.
“He’s had some ups and downs with physical injuries,” Jewett said. “He’s had great summer training and a great fall so far. He’s running fatigued right now, but we’ll be able to give him some rests later in the season.”
The Gorilla men finished third overall with 114 points. They were 19 points ahead of fourth-place finishers Harding University.
Missouri Southern State won the men’s race with 56 points and Southwest Baptist was second with 105.
Freshman Ren Bean was third for the Gorillas in a time of 26:08 and a 29th placing. Senior Ethan Silovsky was 31st in 26:08 while junior Talon Thompson was two places behind at 33rd in a time of 26:12.
The Gorillas will now turn their attention to the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn., set for Sept. 28.
The meet is one of the biggest races among NCAA schools and will include many of the best teams in the country, including defending men’s national champions Adams State.
“That’s a great opportunity to see some of the best NCAA Division 2 schools in the country as well as in our region,” Jewett said.
The Gorillas will also face some quality opponents that they will see in their regional meet in November.
“We switched regions last year and there are a lot more northern teams in our region than prior so we want to bring it up and compete against them before our region,” Jewett said.
The Griak Invitational meet will start at 9 a.m. with the women’s race, followed by the men.