Men's and Women's Cross Country Finish First at Mount St. Joseph Invitational

Junior Spencer Liechty finishes first overall in his first race of the season.

Junior Spencer Liechty finishes first overall in his first race of the season.

Aug. 31, 2012

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CINCINNATI- Xavier men's and women's cross country teams both took first place overall after an impressive afternoon at the Mount St. Joseph 5K Invitational. The race was held at Heritage Park in Cincinnati, where portions of the course included areas of sand and a three-foot log the runners had to jump over. Regardless, junior Spencer Liechty led the men's team with the first overall finish of the day and freshman Victoria Ciotti was the top finisher for the women's side in her first career race, finishing second overall.

"Overall, I was very happy with the effort on both the men's and women's sides," head coach Ryan Orner commented. "We gave them a race plan and not only did they execute well but they won both races. The men had an impressive 22-second one-five split and Spencer Liechty looked very strong in his first win of the year. Victoria Ciotti competed very well against the Mount St. Joseph's freshman who she eventually lost to but was constantly battling throughout the race."

The men dominated the competition by sweeping the top five positions. Liechty was the overall leader with a time of 16:45.86, followed in order by the rest of his teammates: sophomore Corey Zielinski placed second (16:48.26), freshman Austin Winter finished third in his first competition as a Musketeer (16:55.68), junior Chris Hanson finished fourth (17:02.4), and sophomore Matt Orlando rounded out the top five (17:07.19). The men finished first overall with a team score of 15 and an average race time of 16:55.88.

The women also dominated, finishing two through six in the overall standings. Ciotti led the Musketeers with a time of 20:09.05. She was followed by fellow freshman Emily Wolery who finished with a time of 21:47.08, also in her first race at Xavier. Sophomore Emily Kuhn finished fourth with a time of 21:32.24, junior Madison Riethman finished fifth with a time of 21:47.66, and sophomore Carrie Kurish placed sixth with a time of 21:50.08. The women finished first overall with a team score of 20 and an average race time of 21:17.30.

The Musketeers have a quick turnaround with the Queen City Invitational on Friday, September 7th.