NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (September 8, 2018) – It was six Ravens inside the top 25 of a 63-runner field on Saturday, as the Franklin Pierce University men's cross country team finished second, out of seven teams, at the Smith College Invitational.
Despite holding out some of the team's best runners, Franklin Pierce still collected three top-10 finishes on Saturday, and put all of its scoring five among the top 22 finishers. It all added up to 58 points, which was second only to Springfield, which amassed just 39 points and had two of the top five finishers on the way to winning the event. Behind Franklin Pierce, Keene State (63 points) narrowly beat out Babson (66 points) to claim third place.
Junior Anthony Pizzo (Peabody, Mass.) led the way for Franklin Pierce, as he ran an 8k time of 28:03.2 to finish fourth. He was followed shortly after by freshman Will Aylward (Peabody, Mass.) and junior Jeff Reddy (Chester, N.H.), who both chalked up top-10 finishes as well. Aylward finished seventh in 28:15.2, while Reddy stopped the clock at 28:31.0 to finish 10th.
"This was a great opportunity for some of our younger athletes to battle it out, to show who should be in our team's top 10 for our first full varsity race, next weekend at UMass Dartmouth," said head coach Zach Emerson after the meet. "Pizzo is a workhorse and had a really good race from start to finish, while I was equally impressed by the performances from youngsters Aylward and Rua."
Emerson was referring to sophomore Antonio Rua (Burrillville, R.I.), who took 15th (28:50.0), while Ryan Ducrow (Amesbury, Mass.) in 22nd (29:13.9) rounded out the Ravens' scoring five. Junior Tyler Hayes (Kings Park, N.Y.) added another top-25 for Franklin Pierce, as he placed 25th (29:24.7).
"We all look forward to seeing what this team can do next week, when we run our first race of the season at full strength," added Emerson.
The Ravens return to action on Saturday, Sept. 15, when they travel to North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, for the UMass Dartmouth Invitational.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce cross country apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).