Penn State Behrend proved to be another successful trip for the Gannon University cross country teams.
The men placed second at the Behrend Invitational Friday and the women placed third. The men’s race featured 10 teams and the women’s race held 11.
Despite finishing three points behind Behrend, Gannon sophomore Joseph Westrick earned his second individual title of the season, completing the 8K in 26 minutes, 21 seconds.
Westrick said it was hard on the team to lose, but the Knights need to direct their energy toward upcoming races.
“Although there is a lot of energy gained from our fast start, it is crucial that we stay focused,” Westrick said.
The women’s teams ran a 5k and Gannon finished with 52 points. The Knights wound up two points behind Fredonia State, and Behrend took first with 41 points.
Freshman Meredith Morse led the charge for Gannon, finishing sixth overall with a time of 20:06.01.
While Morse paced the team, she said it wasn’t easy getting there coming off an injury during her senior year of high school.
“I couldn’t run during the summer and especially the beginning of preseason, and I was sitting at about the fourth-to-sixth girl during the first week,” she said. “But my teammates are the biggest supporters and push me to work harder than I think I can.
“I honestly owe my success to my teammates.”
The week prior to the Behrend meet, the women’s team placed third again among 16 teams in a 6K at the Bethany Invitational in Bethany, W.Va., with a score of 90 points.
Morse again led the way for Gannon with an 11th-place finish with a time of 24:42. Behind her were two freshmen: Alena Wisniewski in 13th with a time of 24:45 and Sarah Fiorello in 19th with a time of 25:06.
The men’s team posted its second first-place finish at the Bethany Invitational with a score of 53 points. Westrick placed highest for Gannon, finishing fourth in the 8K with a time of 26:46.
Junior Garrett Sutton recorded his best 8K time as a college athlete, finishing seventh with a time of 27:19. Senior Bobby Danielson was the next Knight in line as he finished 12th with a time of 27:30.
Sutton said running his best 8K time at Bethany was a great feeling, but winning the invitational as a team was even sweeter.
“Over the course of my college career, the team has grown into a second family for me,” he said. “It’s a great group of guys, and we all know we are there for each other.”
Up next the teams will travel to Rochester, N.Y., Saturday for the Roberts Wesleyan Invitational starting at 11 a.m.