BY CORY NIDOH
SC Staff Writer
Running a 6K or an 8K race might not be on your to do list anytime soon, but for cross country runners it is a way of life—a way to show their athletic ability and mental toughness.
This past Saturday, East Stroudsburg University, along with almost every other PSAC school, participated in the PSAC Championships, which were held at Kutztown University.
The competition was fierce as there were teams participating in the event that were formerly, or are currently, nationally ranked.
Chris Schneider, a junior, placed 15 in a field of 125 runners, earning his second all-conference award.
He finished the 8K course in just over 26 minutes and helped the Men’s team to a sixth place finish overall—14 teams that took part in the PSAC Championships.
It was the eighth consecutive time that the Warriors have finished in the top six on the men’s side.
Schneider, who has two first place finishes this season in both the Fordham and Don Cathcart Invitationals, has been the Warriors top runner for the men’s team.
He was named PSAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week for the Week of September 30.
When asked how he planned on preparing for the next event and regionals he stated, “My main focus now is to rest. Staying relaxed, keeping a calm mind will take me where I need to go.”
Kim Wernerspach, a senior who has been the women’s best runner all season for ESU, earned her third career all-conference award after finishing the 6K race in eigth place out of 160 runners.
Wernerspach and the ESU Women’s team finished 11 out of 17 participating teams in the PSAC Championships.
Wernerspach also has two top finishes this season as both came in the Fordham and Don Cathcart Invitational as well.
Wernerspach has progressively climbed the ranks in the PSAC Championships since her sophomore year.
That year she finished nineteenth in the field of competition, and she since has improved as she finished fifteenth last year and now this year with her top ten finish.
When asked on her performance, Wernerspach said there was room for improvement.
“If I want to succeed in Regionals I need to focus on being more conservative starting the race and then focus on picking off people near the end of the race.” said Wernerspach.
ESU Cross Country coach Joe Koch said he was very pleased with both the men and the women’s performances.
He said that seeing the men place so close to teams that were nationally ranked throughout the season is a very positive factor moving forward to Regionals in two weeks.
ESU will be getting back into action this Saturday at the Lock Haven River Run.
This will be the final meet before NCAA Regionals which will be held at the same course on November 9.
Runners who make it past Regionals will go to the NCAA National Championship which is held in Spokane, Washington on November 23.
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