PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's men's cross country program is set for one of the nation's premier cross country events, the 46th Annual Paul Short Run this Saturday, October 5. The men's 8k Open Race will begin at 9:30 a.m. while the 45-team field 8k Gold Race is slated for 11:00 a.m., to be held at Lehigh University's Goodman Campus. Admission is free while parking is $6 per car.
Out of those 45 teams, only 10 are not ranked in the top 15 of their regions, with the inclusion of two nationally-ranked Division II schools and five nationally-ranked Division III schools.
"We can run a really strong race and run 15th, or we can run a better-than-average but not top-of-the-game race and get higher," said 31st-year head coach Mike Glavin on Wednesday afternoon. "There are 14 teams ranked in the top eight of their region besides three of the top Canadian teams. This is going to be the largest field they've ever had at the Paul Short Run. I have an expectation that we take these smaller invitationals that we've been in where we've picked up different things on how we've raced well or badly and we throw them all on the starting line and figure out how we race when the race is first brought to us.
"We're going to find out a lot about large-scale, big-time racing for our team this year. The course itself is not a major factor; it rolls, it doesn't climb. It has changes in elevation but doesn't have hills . . . it really is fast. This is the kind of meet where they can look at the season from this point forward and say, 'Bingo. This is the kind of team I dreamed I'd be on this year when I started tying on my shoes in July.' Every race becomes this Olympic-style event. It's not a one-on-one. We will be on a championship line with 425 runners, and they have to figure out how in that kind of war, they drop the best race they can drop."
"Those four are a good reason why I am confident that we should do well," added Glavin. "They're four guys who have had some success in finding each other in races and racing well together. You hope to get four good races out of four."
Graduate student captain Tommy Higley, sophomores Ben Bunch and George Steinhoff, and freshman Colin Kane will be in the mix for that final scoring spot while senior veterans Antonio Amaral and Colin Gallagher also earned roster spots.
Among the Gold Race opposition are six teams ranked ahead of the Hawks (10th) in the Mid-Atlantic Region, including Villanova (2nd), Temple (4th), Navy (5th), Penn (6th), La Salle (8th), and Pittsburgh (9th); should the Hawks take down any of these squads, SJU could find itself ranked higher in the region next week.
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