Courtesy Tim Erickson Senior Felix Chrobog and the men’s team ran to second place at the GW Invite.

Success is the theme of the Hoya cross country team early this year, as the women’s team won the George Washington Invitational held Saturday at Bull Run Park in Centerville, Va.

Competing without their top seven runners, the women still managed to place their scoring runners within the top 14 finishers. Senior Rose Wetzel was the first Hoya to cross the line, placing sixth with a time of 19:11 for the 5K. Senior Jill Laurendeau and sophomore Kim Malcolm followed her in seventh and eighth place with respective finishes of 19:22.2 and 19:24.6. Sophomores Erin Henry and Sabine Knothe rounded out the scorers as Henry came in ninth and Knothe came in 14th.

“This meet was a chance to develop many of the team’s under-scorers . and for [those] runners to get some experience in racing,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “Some of these girls may end up sneaking into our top seven.”

On the men’s side, the No. 13 Hoyas finished in second place out of a field of 14 teams. The team was led by sophomore Chris Lukezic, who made his season debut in the 8K with a time of 26:02.6. He was followed by sophomore Fleet Hower (26:06.2), freshman Matt Debole (26:11.9), freshman Brian Dalpiaz (26:21.1) and senior Jovan Broderick, who finished fourth, fifth, sixth and 11th, respectively. Coaches also decided to sit out key runners, such as junior team captain Rob Koborsi and senior Dan Tebbano, due to sore legs.

“The race was all about tactics,” assistant head coach Pat Henner said. “The boys ran the first four miles as a workout tempo run and just concentrated on finishing well.”

With many talented new runners this year, added to the experienced runners from last year, the coaching staff expects this year’s cross country season to yield great results during championship season.

“We have a mature group of freshman who can race along our older runners and learn race tactics,” Henner said. “In addition, training has been going extremely well and the team is looking extremely fit.”

Henner added that despite their high goals, recent statistics make success at the Regionals and a top 10 finish at the Nationals more likely accomplishments.

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