CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In the men's running of the Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships at Frank Liske Park in Charlotte, N.C., the Temple Owls' squad placed 10th in the 14 team race. Sophomore Will Kellar placed 36th among the 124 individuals that ran the 8K course to finish as Temple's fastest runner on Saturday morning.
“We came into this race a little short-handed, but the rest of the team stepped up,” head coach Matt Jelley said. “I thought we showed a lot of heart. Will [Kellar] had an amazing day and ran a great race. Today was very solid for him and I think it shows a sign of many things to come from him.”
Temple totaled a score of 297 to beat out Saint Louis (324), Rhode Island (387), George Washington (407) and St. Bonaventure (434). Mourning the tragic loss of former head coach Charles Torpey, the La Salle Explorers captured the 2011 championship by topping second place finisher Duquesne by a commanding, 39-72 score.
Senior Ben Thomas and sophomore Phil Fanz placed within footsteps of each other, as Thomas finished in the 8K in 26:23.5 before Fanz crossed the finish line a tenth of a second later. Thomas and Fanz placed 67th and 68th, respectively.
Also finishing within moments of one another were senior Geoffey Barletta and freshman Cullen Davis. The two runners finished the race inside of 26 minutes, as they were within two seconds of each other, allowing for them to take 74th and 75th place, in that order to round out Temple's top five runners in the meet.
“Since we were going to be shorthanded, I talked to Cullen last night about needing to step up today—and, he surely did that in today's race,” Jelley said. “I tried to remind him of his role and now I feel that we are getting what we expected in him, and more.”
Feeling under the weather heading into the meet, freshman Matthew Kacyon placed 82nd overall. Kacyon was Temple's quickest runner in two of the team's three runs prior to the A-10 Championships.
Rounding out the race for the Owls, senior Lou Parisi ended the 8K in 29:22 to take 120th place.
“We have a lot of kids coming back, so there is a bright future to look forward to, especially when ypu look at the success we have with these individuals.” Jelley said.
Up next for the Owls, they will head to the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships on Nov. 12.