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Track Spotlight:
Strong Performances Lead to a Fourth Place Finish at Cabrini Invitational

Monday, October 18, 2004

By Bob Heller
USIP Sports Information Director

The time was right for the USP men's cross country team to turn in a solid performance. With just Saturday's Cabrini Invitational remaining before the CACC Championship meet, the Devils got season bests from five of their top six runners as the finished in fourth place, their best team finish this season.

USP scored 111 points, just 10 behind third place Holy Family University (101). Catholic University was the runaway winner, placing five runners in the top 10 to finish with 28 points. Gwynedd Mercy College was second with 92 points.

Joseph Holton (Jr., Archbishop Ryan HS/North Wildwood, NJ) ran a season best 31:33.72 to finish in 16th place and pace the Devils while Nick Barger (Fr., Our Lady of Lourdes HS/Stormville, NY) ran a personal best 31:58.05 to finish in 19th place. Mitesh Patel (Fr., Point Pleasant Boro HS/Point Pleasant, NJ) was 27th overall with a time of 32:32.87 and the third Devil to finish. Vladimir Mezhiritskiy (So., Northeast HS/Philadelphia, PA), shaking off the effects of a sore knee finished in 33rd place with a season-best 33:20.11. Ryan Pell (So., West York HS/York, PA) rounded out the Devils top five finishing in 35th place (33:45.21), also a season-best.

George Strock (So., Blue Mountain HS/Schuylkill Haven,PA) was right behind him with a personal best 33:47.57, good enough for 36th place. Ivan Sergeyev (Jr., Hunter College HS/New Rochelle, NY) was the Devils seventh finisher with a time of 35:00.90 (41st place). Jonathan Hanna (Jr., Old Bridge HS/Parlin, NJ) was right behind him with a time of 35:02.16 (42nd place). Rich DiGiacomo (Fr., St. John Neumann HS/ Philadelphia, PA) also ran a personal best with a time of 35:39.78 (45th place) as did Mike Rodriguez (Sr., Sayreville HS/South Amboy, NJ) (36:22.79). Rodriguez, in what was possibly his last collegiate race was 49th overall.

The CACC Championships are the next competition for the Devils. USP will be hosting the event at Belmont Plateau on Saturday, October 23, 2004. The races kick off at 12:45 p.m.