Cross Country season runs to the finish on top

By Staff Writer
November 29, 2001

The women’s cross country team had a terrific season. Five of their top runners from last year were lost making this year a challenge. “This year was a rebuilding year,” Tom O’Hara, head coach of the Cross Country team, said.

The returning members who were the mainstays of the team were Kristin Zielinski and Andrea Dragone.

Zielinski was not only the top runner, but the she served as captain of the team. “Much of the success of the team this year can b directly attributed to Zielinski’s leadership and her ability to run.,” O’Hara said. Zielinski achieved many outstanding performances during the season including second in the PAC Championships and first at the Cabrini Invitational.

Dragone also helped the team by making All PAC and earning most improved runner on the team. Her performances all season made a major difference in the team’s standings.

Jen Przasynski had a great season. She made All PAC. Dragone and Przasynski will serve as co-captains next year.

The top first year student of the team was Jackie McGuckin. “The former All Philadelphia Catholic runner made an immediate impact on the team this year,” O’Hara said. She was the fourth member of the team to make All PAC for the ladies.

The team finished second in the PAC, which was considered a major accomplishment. There was one injury brought upon first year student Beth Wooten, which O’Hara believes to have cost the ladies their first place position in the PAC.

Some of the ladies’ highlights include finishing third at the Marywood Invitational, second at the Arcadia Invitational, seventh at the CTC (out of 45 teams), second at PAC to the defending champs Misericordia, and first at the Cabrini Invitational.

The men’s team was an even bigger rebuilding year. Just about everyone from last year’s team was lost this year. They only returning top five runner was Ryan Jones. He was hurt most of the season and only ran in two races.

The biggest contributing member was Patrick Hutton, who returned after a year’s absence. Hutton was the top runner for most of the meets and made All PAC.

“The progress of the freshmen Shaun Smith, Marcel Bassett, Matt Dzuryacho and Michael Sitiritchie made it possible for the team to have a successful year,” O’Hara said.

The men had gone into the PAC Championships having won four straight championships, and everyone wanted to beat Cabrini. “In an effort that was nothing less than spectacular, the men finished second to a very strong Misericordia team,” O’Hara said.

O’Hara earned PAC coach of the year. This was a tribute to the team’s efforts this year.

It is far too early to look at who might be coming in next year, but there will need to be some good recruiting for next year in order for the team to grow. “Zielinski, Hutton and Jones will be hard to replace.”

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