Cross country team preparing for PSAC Championships

The Bloomsburg University men’s and women’s cross country teams are in final preparations for the 2009 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships on Saturday at Edinboro University.

The Huskies and first-year coach Bernie Empie will look to better last year’s fifth place finishes for both teams this weekend.

“I am very excited for the PSAC Championships to finally arrive,” said Empie. “Our teams have worked extremely hard and I am proud of the effort the student-athletes have given each and every day.”

The men’s competition looks to be very competitive,” Empie continued. “Three teams (Edinboro, Ship, and Lock Haven) have separated themselves from the rest of the conference.  There are five teams (Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Slippery Rock, IUP, and Kutztown) that could finish 4th thru 8th.  It will come down to whose team performs the best on Saturday.  Sophomore Bobby Furman and senior Misha Litvinov are having great seasons and provide a solid 1-2 to help in lowering our team score.  We have four freshmen that will be running.  On any given day any one of them could be scorers (top 7) for us.  How well our fifth through seventh men perform could very well decide our team finish.”

Furman’s best finishes were third at the Husky Invitational early in the season and fifth at the Paul Short Invitational in early October. Litvinov was second at the Husky Invitational and was 10th at the Lafayette Invitational. Also look for Jarold Arnold (Philadelphia/Engineering and Science) and Dave Moyer (Boyertown/Boyertown) to be in the mix for the Huskies, while the four freshmen who will toe the starting line are Brent Balmer (Lebanon/Cedar Crest), Mike Hookman (Middlesex, NJ/Middlesex), Nick Patton (Canton/Canton) and Sam Wisniewski (Lititz/Warwick).

The women come into the weekend poised to capture a top five finish, and could finish as high as second,” said Empie. “Of course for a 2nd place finish to happen all of our runners need to be at their best and we need a some help from other teams to balance out what will be a very competitive battle for team spots 2-5.  All season long we have had three very strong front runners in Angela Borealo (Easton/Easton), Andrea Kellock (Lansdale/North Penn), and Katie Meck (Dillsburg/Northern). Much like the men’s race, our women’s finish could depend on how well our fifth runner performs.  In our five races this season, we have had four different runners occupy the fifth position.  We just need to close the gap between our front runners and our fifth runner and we will be all right.”

Borealo took first at the Lafayette Invitational a few weeks ago, while Kellock was fourth at that event and Meck sixth. Freshman Victoria Davis (Schuylkill Haven/Schuylkill Haven) has been a steady fourth place finisher for the Huskies this season. Others to look out for on the Bloomsburg team are Samantha Matthews (Windsor/Gilenelg County), Samantha Rhood (Downingtown/Downingtown West) and Katie McShay (Springfield/Cardinal O’Hara).

Tom McGuire

Bloomsburg University

Director of Sports Information, Athletic Marketing and Promotions