Cross Country Teams Sweep Falcon Classic

Saturday, September 22, 2012 - page 2

The top three finishers in the women’s cross country race at the Falcon Classic were Mayden, Cronin and Bash. A clean sweep for Muhlenberg? Not quite.

Jenn Cronin, a former regional champion at Lebanon Valley and the older sister of Mule junior all-region runner Nicki Cronin, was the second-place finisher. The family connection only added to a memorable day for the Muhlenberg teams.

Samantha Mayden, Jenn Cronin
Mayden (left) and Cronin ran well ahead of the rest of the field.
The women dominated from start to finish, taking first place with 17 points – just two more than the lowest score possible. The men used a different approach but also won their portion of the race by 17 points over Hood. It was the first time since 2008 that the Mules swept the meet.

Senior Samantha Mayden might have run away with the meet if not for the presence of Cronin, who was running unattached. (Nicki Cronin was held out of the meet as a precaution while she nurses a minor injury.) Mayden ran alongside the two-time NCAA qualifier until about a half-mile remained in the race, when she took off. Mayden wound up winning by almost 14 seconds for her first first-place finish since middle school.

“I was really glad she was there,” said Mayden. “She was a great runner in college and a great person to pace off of.

“The other Cronin is a good substitute,” Mayden joked. “Nicki’s getting there. She’s going to race next week and she’s probably going to kill it.”

She certainly wasn’t needed at Cedar Crest. The Mules’ top seven runners went 1-3-4-6-7-9-11, with senior Erica Bash coming in third, a minute behind Mayden and 33 seconds ahead of the next finisher. Freshman Melanie Tramontina, sophomores Chelsea Rivenbark and Cassiah Sahl and junior Ramzy Burns also finished in the top 10.

“We have important meets coming up,” said Mayden. “These first two meets were more to see where we are.”

men's cross country
Wohl, McGetrick and Kline (left to right) run in a pack. Right behind them is William Lowrey '12, one of three Mules alums to run in the meet.
And where is that? “We’re doing great. Our four through seven girls are all together. We need people to push each other and constantly change leads. If we do that we’ll do really well.”

More than halfway through the men’s race, it didn’t look like Muhlenberg was headed for a first-place finish, with its top runners far from the lead. That was by design, however.

“We were just going to take it as a tempo run,” explained junior Charlie Kline. “We were going to pack it up and have fun, and then after 2 miles go to race pace. It was just going to be whoever had the most.”

All the Mules had plenty for a strong kick. Sophomore Luke Munyan led the way in third place, with Kline fifth and junior Bobby McGetrick sixth. Sophomores Kenny Wohl and Zach Lifman rounded out the top 10.

“It was unbelievable,” said Kline of passing so many runners in the latter stages of the race. “At the start we were in 30th or 35th place.”

Having a strong final kick will take on greater importance in future big meets, beginning with next weekend’s Dickinson Long/Short Invitational.

“It was very encouraging,” said Kline. “A lot of people really stepped up today.”
Click here for Muhlenberg box score.
Click here for complete results.