Devil Men Run to Second at Spiked Shoe Invitational
By Dennis Young
The Dickinson College men's cross-country team finished a strong second place this morning at Penn State's Spiked Shoe Invitational. The Red Devils posted a score of 45 points, a narrow 12 behind DIII rival (and 8th-ranked nationally) SUNY-Geneseo.
The race was 5.2 miles, a hair longer than the traditional 8000 meters. Conversions are always a sketchy matter, but in this case, subtracting 75 to 80 seconds to translate to an 8k time is a fairly safe bet.
Leading the way, for the first time in his Dickinson career, was junior Andrew Fine (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) , running 26:59 for the undulating course. Senior Dylan Straughan (Bethesda, MD/Bethesda-Chevy Chase) finished at the same exact time with the younger runner awarded fifth place and the older sixth. Senior Ted MacDonald (Langhorne, PA/Neshaminy) was nine seconds back and 10th overall, continuing an impressive comeback after an injury-riddled junior year.
The fourth Red Devil to cross the line, five seconds in arrears of MacDonald in a time of 27:13, was sophomore Ryan Steinbock (Pittsburgh, PA/Chartiers Valley). Today was easily the best race of Steinbock's young season, and the highest he's ever finished on the team.
Rounding out scoring in 27:20 and 15th place was another sophomore, Henry Mynatt (Lake Forest, IL/Lake Forest). While Mynatt has battled illness all week, he was still the first fifth-man in the field, and sealed Dickinson's spread (the gap between the first and fifth scorer) at 21 seconds, the best of any team at the meet.
The last time that the Red Devils competed at the Spiked Shoe meet was 2008. That year, the Dickinson men won their first conference championship ever, and finished 14th in the nation, which is still to date their second highest finish ever. That team's fifth man ran 28:14. Today, in a sign of the dramatically improved depth of the program, 11 Dickinson runners finished at 28:13 or better.
The Red Devils return to competition next Saturday. They will be hosting the Dickinson Long-Short Invitational at nearby Big Spring High School beginning at 10:30 am.