For the first time in school history, the Youngstown State University women’s cross-country team finished in second place at the Horizon League Championships on Saturday.
“Out of the 30-plus runner-up trophies, it stands as one of the most cherished,” head coach Brian Gorby said. “I have been fortunate to coach 17 teams that have won team championship trophies and 32 teams that have been runners-up.”
The Penguins had two runners finish in the top five, with sophomore Samantha Hamilton leading. She finished third with a 19:06.8 time.
Fellow sophomore Anna Pompeo finished 25 seconds behind Hamilton and placed fifth. Hamilton and Pompeo earned First-Team Horizon League selections.
“We had some bad weather, [and] the course was kind of a mud pit,” Hamilton said. “But the girls came out and ran really good. We had another first-teamer, Anna, which was a huge contribution getting fifth.”
Junior Nelly Yegon was able to grab Second-Team Horizon League honors with a time of 19:49, placing 13th.
Rounding out the Penguins’ top 20 were a pair of freshmen. Christina Oles finished 18th with a time of 20:15.4, and Brittany Stockmaster was 19th with a time of 20:23.9.
Butler University won the women’s title with 28 points.
“Having our top five in the top 20 is really a tremendous accomplishment,” Gorby said. “These young ladies stepped up incredibly. It was a lot of fun to see all the hard work and training pay off big.”
Pompeo said that with so many young runners, coming in second was a great accomplishment.
“This was really impressive,” she said. “It’s just really exciting.”
Gorby agreed with Pomeo.
“These ladies stepped up incredibly well to give YSU a history-breaking season,” Gorby said. “With them all being underclassmen, we can keep improving. The future is bright.”
For the men’s team, sophomore Eric Rupe finished 20th with a time of 27:25.3. Freshmen Austin McLean and Nick Gliha were next in line for the men’s team. McLean ran a 27:59.4 for a 27th-place finish; Gliha finished 31st with a time of 28:10.6.
Butler won the men’s title with 25 points. YSU finished in seventh place.
“With all the freshmen and sophomores, just like the women’s team, the future is bright for the men,” Gorby said. “Both teams have really bright futures.”
Both teams are preparing for the upcoming NCAA Great Lakes Regional Cross-Country Championships in Toledo on Nov. 12.