DALLAS, Pa. – The University of Scranton men's cross country team ran to victory on Saturday morning at the Cougar Classic at Misericordia University, the team's first win since 2011.
The Royals finished with 44 points to edge second-place Misericordia, which finished with 46 points. The last time Scranton captured a race came on Sept. 10, 2011, when the Royals outran 13 other teams to win the Dutchmen Invitational, hosted by Lebanon Valley College.
Junior Eric Bartlett (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) led Scranton for the third straight week by finishing fourth overall. He completed the 8,000-meter course in 27:56.90. Fellow junior Zach Gutekunst (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) gave Scranton a second top-10 finish by placing seventh with a time of 28:38.30.
When Gutekunst crossed the line, Scranton was three points behind Misericordia. But the Royals' next three runners came through, finishing 10th, 11th and 12th for a total of 33 points to catch and pass Misericordia, whose third through fifth runners totaled 38 points.
Junior Chris Baldwin (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) led that charge by placing 10th in a time of 28:55.60. Freshman Shane McKeon (Royersford, Pa./Pope John Paul II) was 11th in 28:58.80 and fellow freshman John Thomas Clark (Royersford, Pa./Spring-Ford) was 12th in 28:59.70.
And while he was Scranton's sixth runner and didn't count toward the team total, junior Zachary Mead (Montrose, Pa./Montrose) helped the cause by finishing 14th in 29:22.40, two spots ahead of Misericordia's fifth runner.
The men's cross country team will now have a week off to prepare for the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh on Saturday, Sept. 29, in Bethlehem, Pa.