CHICAGO - With an opportunity to give all of his runners some solid competition on the weekend, Saint Xavier University men's cross country coach Ed McAllister split his squad sending some of his runners to the National Catholic Championships at Univeristy of Notre Dame (Ind.) Friday and other harriers to the Falcon Invite hosted by Concordia University (Wis.) on Saturday. SXU had some impressive performances at both meets with freshman Brian Corcoran (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) pacing the squad at Notre Dame and junior transfer Rich Eber (Oak Lawn, Ill./Illinois State University/Brother Rice) leading the way in Mequon, Wis.
In South Bend, Ind., the meet was scored in two separate fashions with an overall scoring and a separate scoring, including all non-NCAA Division I teams. Overall, the Cougars finished 17th among all 35 teams, and in the non-Division I scoring, they were seventh out of 25 schools. Corcoran was SXU's top finisher for the third straight week running the five-mile course in 26:07, which was good for 35th place among the 285 competitors. He was followed by a pack of Cougars led by junior Matt Rychel (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) in 27:31 (108th place), freshman Chris Sarna (Palos Park, Ill./Stagg) in 27:32 (111th place), senior Roy Witty (Mount Greenwood, Ill./Marist) in 27:35 (114th place), junior Dan Hasty (Oak Lawn, Ill./Brother Rice) in 27:45 (127th place) and freshman Shane Kenney (Porter, Ind./Chesterton) in 27:57 (140th place).
At the Falcon Invite, Eber claimed a second-place overall finish with a time of 26:38 among the 150 finishers. He was followed by Witty in 11th place at 27:14 and then Hasty in 22nd with a time of 27:49, freshman Izak Velasquez (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) in 25th place at 27:57, junior Andy Peters (Yellow Springs, Ohio/Yellow Springs) in 34th with a time of 28:20, junior Buck Hill (Streator, Ill/Ottawa-Marquette) in 28:55 and junior Brandon Hummer (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale South) in 29:26. As a team, the Cougars finished third among the 15 teams in attendance.
"I have never split up a squad before," said McAllister. "However, at this stage of the season, we are looking for different things among different individuals and so I felt that this was the best way to get the most accomplished. We could have fielded a better team at Notre Dame, but our goals are a bit farther down the road. I was happy with Corcoran at ND and very satisfied with Eber, Witty and Hasty at Concordia. I feel that we learned a lot about ourselves this weekend and I feel that it will help us as a team down the road."The Cougars take this weekend off and will take part in the Sean Earl Invitational at Loyola University in Chicago on October 2. The meet is scheduled for an 11:15 a.m. start.