Nine Invitationals fill Seton Hall Cross Country’s Fall Slate

Photo via shupirates.com

Shupirates.com

The 2014 Seton Hall men’s and women’s cross country program released its fall schedule on Wednesday. The Pirates, who return 13 runners on both the men’s and women’s sides, will once again be under the direction of head coach John Moon, who enters his 43rd season with the university as one of the most respected cross country and track coaches in the nation.

For the women’s side, it’s up to senior Mary Migton and sophomore Desyre Blackburn to be the standouts for the team. Gone is Nyala Eddings, who graduated last spring. Eddings. Migton, and Blackburn scored in all nine events last season, with Eddings pacing the blue and white in eight events. Migton looks to break out this upcoming season after a strong ending to last fall. At the ECAC Championships, Migton was just under two seconds from breaking a personal 5K record, but took 12th out of 162 to earn a top-15 medal with a time of 18:41.2. That was the fastest mark for the team as well. Migton, who has been a team captain as a sophomore and junior, put up the fastest 5K time on the team last year. For Blackburn, she emerged as a major piece of the puzzle for a Pirates squad that is trying to find more depth this fall. Her 5K time of 20:14.40 in the fall at the ECAC Championships was her best of the season. The bar is set higher for Blackburn, who will be looked at to deliver a veteran presence even at the early age of a sophomore.

The Pirates’ men side presents more depth heading into the upcoming season, with a sophomore class loaded with potential, a solid junior in Ryan Flannery, and three seniors led by Kevin Walsh.

The rising standout for The Hall is returning Victor Ricci. In his freshman season, the Rhode Island native was the top finisher for the team in five of nine invitationals. He was just one of two in the blue and white to score in every fall meet for the team. Ricci not only was able to establish himself on a consistent basis right away, but also led the men at the Big East Championships meet at Marquette last fall. His 26:34 effort in the 8K was a personal record and good for 45th in the meet. Flannery, a captain, finished in first for the team in three meets and was among the team’s top two finishers in seven different occurrences. One of his late-season highlights came during the second week of November, when Flannery was Seton Hall's top performer at the 10K NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional with a new individual record of 33:23. Team captain Tyler Orner is the lone returning senior to have competed in all nine meets last season. He got off to a solid start, placing 19th at the 6K Monmouth XC Kickoff with a time of 21:60.0, which still holds as his personal record. Along with Ricci, Cameron Quisenberry was the other Pirate to score in all nine meets. The rising sophomore made his presence felt early in his debut season. Quisenberry took eighth at Monmouth, but that was only the beginning. He went on to deliver a top-three time on the team for all five distances they ran. Alex Mallue enters his sophomore season after scoring for the Pirates in all four championship races last fall. He put up a season-best finish of 12th overall at Monmouth with a 6K time of 20:28.08 and tallied a season-best mark with an 8K time of 28:17.29 at the Leopard Invitational. Kevin and John Walsh are also back for the Pirates entering their senior season. Kevin stood out in the spring with a win in the 5K run at the Stockton Invitational. His time of 16:14.19 led the field by over 10 seconds. He was in the top-15 just weeks later with a time of 16:10.12 at the Rider Invite. His brother, John, took 22nd while then-freshman Sean Kip finished just seconds behind Kevin. Kip returns after scoring six different times for The Hall last fall. He went on to pace the Pirates in third in both the 10K at Monmouth and the 5K at Muhlenberg.

The slate opens with the same three meets that the 2013 schedule opened with: The Pirates travel to West Long Branch, N.J., to open the season at the Monmouth XC Kickoff meet, where both squads took second last season. After the August 30 opener, the Pirates head to Oakdale, N.Y., for the Hofstra/St. John’s Festival again. Both men’s and women’s teams took runner-up in that meet as well. The University of Delaware Invitational wraps up the first stretch of the season for Moon’s team. While the men took a third straight second-place finish in Delaware last season, the ladies finished in fourth. The Pirates will not take part in the UMES Cappy Anderson Invitational this season. Rather, the fourth meet of the season is in the Sunshine State. The Pirates travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the Asics-Embry Riddle Classic on Sept. 27. The championships season kicks off just less than two weeks after the trip to Florida, as the Pirates head back to the Metropolitan Championships in Bronx, N.Y. The sixth meet of the season will be just as it was last season, when the blue and white travel to Lafayette for the Leopard Invitational on Oct. 18. A first in the history of the Big East will come the following week. For the first time ever, the Big East Championships will be held at Butler University in Indianapolis (Oct. 31). All ten teams will participate. The Pirates will have two weeks off before heading to Pennsylvania for the second time in three meets when they head to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Championships in State College, Pa. The IC4A Championship in the Bronx closes out the campaign on Nov. 22.

The Big East is a solid league with 10 programs on both the male and female side competing. Reigning champion Villanova and runner-up Providence lead the men’s side while the Lady Friars won the title in 2013 with Georgetown in second. In the final poll of 2013, a total of five squads represented the league in the top 30.

XC Quick Hits

Men’s XC doesn’t produce class clowns

The Big East recognized the Pirates’ men’s cross country team with the 2013-14 Team Academic Excellence Award on Monday. It is given to the team with the highest collective grade-point average in the league for each sport. Not only did the team win the Seton Hall Academic Award, but it also has won the Big East honor two years in a row. 12 of the 191 Pirate athletes were men’s cross country team members.

How does the qualification work for the NCAA Championship?

“There are nine NCAA cross country regions, with the top two seven-person teams receiving automatic bids to the NCAA Championship. The men's and women's championships will feature 31 teams each, including 18 automatic qualifiers and 13 at-large selections” (Courtesy of the Big East).

The 2014-15 Schedule, as first published by SHUPirates.com, the official site of Seton Hall athletics:

2014-2015 SCHEDULE

Date

Opponent / Event

Location

Time / Result

08/30/14

Monmouth XC Kick-Off

West Long Branch, N.J.

10:00 a.m. ET

09/07/14

Hofstra/St. John's Fall Festival

Oakdale, N.Y.

TBA

09/13/14

University of Delaware Invitational

Newark, Del.

10:00 a.m. ET

09/27/14

Asics-Embry Riddle Classic

Daytona Beach, Fla.

TBA

10/10/14

Metropolitan Championships

Bronx, N.Y.

2:00 p.m. ET

10/18/14

Leopard Invitational

Easton, Pa.

10:00 a.m. ET

10/31/14

BIG EAST Championship

Indianapolis, Ind.

TBA

11/14/14

NCAA Mid-Atlantic Championship

State College, Pa.

10:00 a.m. ET

11/22/14

IC4A Championship

Bronx, N.Y.

9:00 a.m. ET

Author: John Fanta

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This