By: Colin Schroyer
On Saturday, October 30th, 2022, the Thiel College men’s and women’s cross-country teams took place in the PAC Championships hosted by Saint Vincent College.
As a part of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, Thiel competed against ten other colleges and universities, with the women running a distance of six kilometers and the men running eight.
Running against nine other schools, the men’s cross-country team placed 8th with 246 points. Coming in 41st place overall for the men, and leading the Tomcats, was senior Quintin Weaver, with a time of 28:11, followed by Matt Beuermann, placing 43rd with a time of 28:16. Nathaniel Turner (30:16), Legion Lake (30:44), and Austin Krieger (30:53) finished at the 84th, 88th, and 89th places, respectively, with Krieger named to the 2022 PAC Men’s Cross Country Sportsmanship Team. Tristian Mylnarek finished in 107th place, with a personal best time of 32:21.
The women ran against ten other schools, placing 9th with 270 points — the best finish for the team since 2016. Achieving a personal best time of 26:38 and placing 58th overall, senior Hannah Strott led the Thiel College women’s cross-country team. Junior Hannah Jones and Lilliana Briscoe also achieved personal bests of 26:54 and 29:02, placing 61st and 80th, respectively, with Briscoe recognized for her sportsmanship and named to the 2022 PAC Women’s Cross Country Sportsmanship Team. Jade Rhoads, with a time of 29:09, Ava Kidder, with a time of 29:50, and Brooke Griffith, with a time of 30:51, finished 83rd, 87th, and 92nd, respectively.
For the overall Championships, the Franciscan University Barons— who has topped the leaderboard for three consecutive years in this category — won for the men, while the Allegheny College Gators won for the women.
“Overall, I thought we did well,” says Griffith, reflecting on the event. “We did what we needed to and placed well because of it.” She gives credit to the team’s coaches for helping both teams achieve the success they did. “Coach Ike [Carissa Eichmeyer] and Coach Chad [Pakozdi] made sure we were prepared… We ran hard and beat the girls [that] Coach told us we had to.”
The Presidents’ Athletic Conference, or PAC, was organized in 1955 on the belief that “an athletic program is an integral part of college life but not an entity in itself,” according to the
PAC. Originally comprised of Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, Case Institute of Technology, and Wayne State University, the PAC now includes 11 private institutions across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The primary mission of the PAC is to promote intercollegiate athletics while encouraging student-athletes to pursue academic excellence.
Even though this season is over, athletes look forward to the following season. “I am excited for next year,” shares Griffith. “I plan on training hard during track and off-season….” Indoor Track and Field and Outdoor Track and Field, for both men and women, will begin during the winter and spring, respectively. Cross-Country will begin its subsequent season in the fall of 2023.