By Anthony LovisaStaff Reporter
Villanova’s cross country season opened last weekend with a visit to the Princeton Invitational, held at Princeton University in New Jersey. At the race, the men and women had equally strong showings, both individually and as teams. Each had three runners in the top 15, and both teams raced to a third-place finish.
The men’s team finished with 64 points, behind Iona University’s 21 and Princeton University’s 41. Manhattan College finished fourth with a total 110 points. Villanova senior Andrew Keino ran the 8 km course in a final time of 25:31.10, finishing fourth overall. He was followed closely by fellow senior Robert Curtis with a time of 25:45.20 and an overall twelfth place finish. Sophomore Robert Papazian posted a time of 25:54.50, good for a fifteenth place overall.
For the Wildcat women, senior Akilah Vargas posted an overall seventh place finish in the 6.1 km course in a time of 22:38.50. Theresa Rush, new to the team this year, finished in a time of 23:06.20 with a twelfth place overall finish. Rounding out the top 15 for the women was Elizabeth Gesel with a time of 23:12.10.
The team finished with a total of 69 points, behind only Princeton’s 31 points and Iona’s 49 points. In the fourth and fifth place slots were Rutgers and Manhattan College, with 92 points and 127 points respectively.
Looking ahead, the next race for the team is the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa, and will take place on tomorrow.