Cross Country Teams Capture Championship Victories

When Penn State Worthington Scranton recently hosted the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) Cross County Championship meet, organizers had no idea it would be a history making day.

On a cold, rainy Saturday, Worthington Scranton's women's cross country team captured its third consecutive PSUAC State Championship.
Their victory secured them a spot in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's National Championship (USCAA) meet in Concord, NH on November 5 and 6, where they captured second place overall.

Worthington Scranton's women ran against teams from New Hampshire, Maryland, New Mexico, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Michigan and Florida.
Freshmen runners Maureen Suchecki (Pittston Area High School and Amber Martin (North Pocono High School) finished 3rd and 6th respectively to earn USCAA All American honors.
At a pre-race banquet held Thursday evening that featured Olympic Gold Medalist and distance running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson as the guest speaker, senior Robin Schafer (Wallenpaupack High School) and junior Justyna Thomas (Western Wayne High School) were named to the USCAA All Academic Cross Country Team for the second consecutive year.

Individual Results on the 6K course were: Maureen Suchecki, 3rd, 24:44; Amber Martin, 6th, 25:05; Amanda Klimasiewfski, 17th, 26:26; Brittany Ostrowski, 23rd, 27:27; Rebecca Kinsey, 24th, 27:28; Justyna Thomas, 31st, 28:46; Diana Kloss, 38th, 30:04; Robin Schafer, 53rd, 31:04; and Sarahjean Seymour, 69th, 34:22.

The men's cross country team, which had finished second in the PSUAC event also competed in the USCAA National Championship meet, finished 7th overall.
Sophomore Chris Meszler (Honesdale High School) was the top finisher for Scranton, covering the 8k course in 29 minutes. Dine College's (New Mexico) and Kenyon native Nick Kipruto was the overall winner, setting a new course record with a time of 25:10.

At the pre-race banquet sophomore Douglas Mallas (Scranton High School), David Moss (Scranton High School) and Patrick Murphy (Abington Heights) were named to the USCAA All Academic Cross Country Team.

Individual men's results were: Chris Meszler, 12th, 29:00; David Moss, 24th, 29:57; Todd Lucke, 52nd, 32:00; Cody Yedinak, 55th, 32:13; Rich Emiliani, 62nd, 34:03; Michael Bucklaw, 63rd, 34:03; Evan Kussoff, 64th, 34:04; Chris Burke, 73rd, 35:34; Michael Savastano, 74th, 35:44; Paul Devine, 75th, 35:45; Joe Moss, 78th, 36:22; Mike Callahan, 79th, 36:43; Douglas Mallas, 80th, 36:54; Colin Parker, 85th, 38:04; and Patrick Murphy, 91st, 41:21.

"As their coach, I seldom get the opportunity to thank these athletes publicly for their hard work and dedication," said Coach Gary Edstrom. "But I can tell you that I have never been more proud of a group of athletes. They are an amazing group of young ladies and it has been my honor to have had the privilege to work with them this year."