W&J Cross Country Duo Makes History At PAC Championships
BETHANY, W.Va. – Washington & Jefferson College senior Scott Ryan (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville East) and sophomore Kristen Galligan (Frederick, Md./Governor Thomas Johnson) swept the individual titles Saturday at the 2012 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships hosted by Bethany College.
Galligan became the first women’s cross country runner in school history to claim a conference title since the sport was introduced at the college in 1989. She dominated the 110-runner field with a 6K time of 21:45.50. Grove City’s Ella Smith was second at 25:03.30.
Ryan also enjoyed a dominating performance to earn his first career conference title after coming so close during his first three seasons. He is the second W&J cross country runner to win a PAC championship, joining two-time winner Matthew Rudzki (2005 and 2007).
Ryan posted a time of 25:31.50 in the 8K race, 44 seconds ahead of Saint Vincent’s Chansler Poole. A total of 96 runners competed in the men’s race.
As a team, the W&J men placed third of nine teams with 118 points, behind Saint Vincent (44) and Grove City (58). The third-place showing at the conference championships was the best since the Presidents’ men claimed second place in 2007.
The Washington & Jefferson women took seventh place in the nine-team field with 166 points. Grove City amassed 35 points to win the team championship.
Senior Benjamin Kopchick (Clarksburg, Pa./Saltsburg) was the second-best finisher for the W&J men in 15th place with a time of 27:52.70. Sophomore Corey Young (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) also placed among the top 30 in 29th place (28:39.30).
Freshman Keri Reeves (Calimesa, Calif./Yucaipa) turned in a 42nd-place finish for the W&J women after crossing the finish line in 26:00.30. Freshman Kaleigh Gallagher (East Aurora, N.Y./Iroquois) placed 54th at 26:53.00, while classmate Kenzie Blackmon (Erie, Pa./Fort Leboeuf) was 55th (26:53.80).
Ryan and Galligan will look to qualify for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships for the second-straight year in two weeks when they run at the NCAA Mideast Regional in Carlisle, Pa.