The Fairfield University men’s and women’s Cross Country teams participated in the Jasper Fall Cross Country Invite on Sept. 16. at the Twin Ponds on The Farm in Montgomery, N.Y., hosted by Manhattan College. It was their second meet of the season, following the Marist season opener meet hosted by Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Sept. 2.

On the men’s side, the Stags were led by Charles Orciuch ‘27, who finished 79th in a field of 200 runners competing for an 8K time of 27:19.2. The first-year was joined by fellow classmates Kenny Power ‘27 and Alex Petersen ‘26. They each ran corresponding times of 27:21.4 and 27:26.2, finishing 82nd and 84th respectively. Rounding out the starting five were Olli Muniz ‘27, who clocked in at 27:49.0 and came in 93rd and Jack Putnam ‘26, who crossed the finish line at the 27:59.8 minute mark, capping off a promising performance for the Stags.

Among first-year runners in the meet, Orciuch finished 13th in a field of 62 first-year students competing, while Power finished 15th and Muniz came in 22nd, displaying outstanding potential in the process. Under the direction of second-year head coach Jake Jayworth, the Stags appear to be in good hands with their youthful core moving forward.

On the women’s side, it was a similar story, also competing in a field of 200 runners in a 6K. Setting the tone for the women’s side was Mia Strazella ‘27, who finished 45th in a field of 200 runners with a time of 23:01.1. Coming in behind the rookie was classmate Natalie Haracz ‘27, who came in 64th while clocking in at 23:56.1. Right behind Haracz was Isabella Colabatistto ‘27, who came running across the finish line four seconds later with a time of 24:00.4 in 67th place.

Following the dynamic triplet was the sophomore duo of Megan Furlong and Molly Ryle. Furlong completed the course in 24:47.4 in 91st while Ryle followed in her footsteps just 14 seconds later with a time of 25:01.9 and settling for 97th. Another first-year, Michaela Kenny, finished right behind Ryle, registering a 25:06.4 frame.

Two upperclassmen, Catherine Lanahan ‘24 and graduate student Claire Mason eventually followed the young core, with Lanahan clocking in at 25:30.9 and finishing in 105th place. Mason finished exactly three seconds and one spot behind her teammate, registering a time of 25:33.9. Rounding out the squad were Ada Gebauer ‘27, Caroline Burns ‘25, Emily Cochi ‘25 and Alexandra Messina ‘26, who finished with times of 26:12.0, 26:28.7, 26:52.1 and 27:45.6, respectively.

The meet presented an opportunity for both teams to become acclimated with the race course, which will soon host the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championships on Oct. 28. After a promising performance, these young cores should be in better shape heading into the big meet, which is undoubtedly circled on both teams’ calendars.
Both squads are currently in preparation for the Paul Short Run on the Lehigh University campus in Bethlehem, Pa., which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30. For more information on the men’s and women’s Cross Country teams, please visit www.fairfieldstags.com.

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