Freshman Jack Patwell (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) was the top newcomer at Saturday's Landmark Conference men's cross country championship, finishing 17th. As a result, he has been named The University of Scranton Athlete of the Week.
Patwell conquered the hilly 8,000-meter course in a time of 29:04.33 despite unseasonably warm temperatures at race time. He was named the conference's Rookie of the Year thanks to crossing the line first among all conference newcomers. His effort helped the team finish fourth among the conference's six teams, the seventh time in 11 seasons the Royals have finished in the top four at the Landmark championships.
By finishing 17th, Patwell also matched the top finish by a Scranton freshman at the Landmark Conference championships over the past 10 seasons. His teammate, sophomore Eric Bartlett (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) finished 17th last season. Prior to that, the best performance by a Scranton freshman at the Landmark Conference championships came in 2007, the first year of the conference, when Chris Wasnetsky finished second.
Patwell and the Royals now have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pa.