Cross country teams in top form

Santo Caruso

One of the two main events in cross country took place on Friday with ‘Nova runners performing very well. The biggest story was sophomore Bobby Curtis winning the Big East Conference Championship and running the second fastest time in Boston’s Franklin Park’s history.

Curtis was the only Wildcat to finish in the top 10, but junior Marc Pelerin also had a strong performance, finishing 11th on the 8,000-meter course.

The men came in fourth place but had no finishers below 60 out of the 89 runners – an impressive stat considering there are no seniors and only three juniors on the team.

“We are a very young talented team,” Curtis said. “We have guys who were high school all-Americans and world cross country qualifiers, so what we may lack in experience and strength, we more than make up with talent.”

The women achieved similar results with an entirely different attack.

Junior Marina Murcan was the Wildcats’ top runner at sixth place, but six other girls finished in the top 30. This balance allowed the ladies to capture third place, behind only Providence and Notre Dame. The experienced team of four seniors and three juniors plan on having another strong showing at the NCAA Regionals.

“Cross country racing is strange because it’s five months of hard work for basically two races – conference and NCAAs,” Curtis said.

Curtis and the rest of the Wildcats took full advantage of the racing opportunity and are intent on continuing that success in their final meet of the season. Although the expectations are high, the gifted team is confident of their ability.

Both the men and women will race on Nov. 13 at University Park, Pa., and from there will hopefully go on to the NCAA championships in Indiana on Nov. 22.

Although they approach the tournament in different ways, Villanova can expect big things from both teams.

“As the years go by you learn more about yourself. You learn mentallyand physically what you can and cannot take,” Curtis said. “It’s just a matter of time before we become a great team.”