HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Sophomore Eric Bartlett (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) was the top performer for The University of Scranton men's cross country team at Saturday's Landmark Conference championships, crossing the line ninth.
Bartlett's effort helped the Royals finish fourth in the six-team field with 85 points. The fourth-place finish matches last year's effort by the team and marks the seventh time in 11 seasons in the Landmark Conference that Scranton has finished in the top four.
Bartlett completed the hilly 6,000-meter course in 28:30.01 in unseasonably warm temperatures. His ninth-place finish makes him just the second Royal in the past six seasons to finish in the top 10 at the conference championships, joining Jimmy Buckley, who was seventh last season.
Freshman Jack Patwell (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) picked up conference Rookie of the Year honors as the first newcomer across the line. He finished 17th with a time of 29:04.33, right behind two teammates. Sophomore Zachary Gutekunst (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) was the second Royal across the line, finishing 15th in a time of 28:57.01. Senior Schuyler Smith (Towanda, Pa./Towanda) was 16th in 29:03.73 while Patwell was less than a second behind.
Freshman Zachary Mead (Montrose, Pa./Montrose) completed the team's top five by finishing 28th in 29:47.11.
The men's cross country team now has two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 12:30 p.m. at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pa.