Jacob Hebda | Staff Writer
On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Duquesne men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships. The meet, which took place at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia, marked the end of A-10 Conference action for the 2018 season.
Both teams had solid overall performances. Out of the 14 schools in the A-10, the men’s team ranked seventh, while the women’s team was eighth.
The women’s team was led by a terrific performance from junior runner Elizabeth Morris. Morris turned in a 12th place finish with a time of 17:44.2 for the 5K race.
After her strong outing, Morris was named to the A-10 All-Conference team. It is an impressive feat, especially considering just 15 of the 130 athletes who competed qualified for the honor.
Rounding out the rest of the women’s team were Megan Aller (18:03.6), Morgan Perkins (18:28.5), Ava Pietrzyk (18:32.6), Tessa Franchi (18:39.9) and Brooke Hutton (18:48.8). They finished 24th, 45th, 48th, 57th and 65th, respectively.
On the men’s side, the Dukes were propelled by an outstanding run from senior Cordon Louco.
Louco, who posted a time of 24:42.5 in the five-mile race, finished second. His runner-up finish marked a significant improvement from last year’s A-10 Championships, where he finished 22nd. His performance also earned him a place on the All-Conference team.
Duquesne’s upperclassmen played an integral role in the team’s performance as Christian Kazanjian (25:38.9), Hunter Wharrey (25:45.0), Samuel Knee-Robinson (25:47.1) and Jake Heinauer (25:50.2) all provided solid contributions. They placed 30th, 38th, 41st and 42nd, respectively. All four — except Heinauer, who is a junior — are seniors.
Even on a day where Duquesne’s upperclassmen made their presence felt, freshman Sam Snodgrass provided reason for optimism in the near future. Snodgrass, who graduated from local South Fayette High School, ran a time of 25:52.5, ranking him 47th among the 129 total runners.
His efforts earned him a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie Team, which consists of the best seven freshmen runners from the Conference Championship. Of that group, Snodgrass was sixth.
It was an undeniable bright spot for the team, which will be needing its younger runners to step up after their senior leaders graduate.
Closing out the top seven for the Dukes was another promising underclassman, sophomore Mark Provenzo. Provenzo ran a time of 25:58.7 and finished 53rd.
Up next for Duquesne is the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional in State College, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 9.
Last year, both Duquesne teams enjoyed moderate success at the State College-based regional. On Nov. 10, 2017, the DU men placed 16th of 26, while the women finished 11th of 28 teams.