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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Open on Saturday morning marked the last time that the Penn State men’s and women’s cross country teams will run competitively at the home Blue-White Course this season. The meet was also the Senior Day home finale for seven senior Penn State cross country athletes.
Amidst hail-like precipitation falling, head coach John Gondak recognized the senior athletes during a ceremony after the conclusion of the men’s and women’s races. The five men honored were Glen Burkhardt (captain), Robby Creese, John Dugan, Wade Endress and Conrad Lippert. The two women honored were Tori Gerlach (captain) and Sarah Jane Underwood.
Saturday morning’s unseasonably cold weather conditions weren’t optimal for running but the Penn State cross country program battled through the frigid, blustery conditions the best they could. It gave the Nittany Lions an experience to run in sub-par conditions which benefit them when they run in freezing cold postseason races in a few weeks.
A drizzle of rain fell on the women’s athletes during the end of their race but it didn’t seem to bother the No. 16 nationally ranked Penn State women who won the meet with a score of 37. The women were led by freshman Victoria Crawford who recorded a third-place finish for the Nittany Lion women. Right behind Crawford was junior Cara Ulizio with a fourth-place finish and sophomore Megan Hellman with a sixth-place finish to help the Nittany Lion women capture the victory.
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