Monday, September 10, 2007

Fordham Invitational: train hard, race... well, just train hard

This past weekend saw an intra-regional skirmish take place at Van Cortlandt Park, as Princeton, Penn, and Navy -- the 4th, 8th and 9th place teams at the Mid-Atlantic Regional in 2006 -- visited the Bronx for the Fordham Invitational. With Villanova and Pitt (2006 MA 3rd & 6th) ravished by graduation, and Penn State and LaSalle (5th & 7th) losing their low-sticks to that same, awful fate, the Tigers, Quakers and Goat-type-things look to be in prime position to battle it out for the prestigious honor of placing 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic and being one of the last teams left home from Nationals. And who doesn't want that? So, a lot was on the line when they took to the course Saturday morning and did battle.

And by, "did battle" I mean, of course, "ran workouts." But in their singlets. All three squads appeared to be keeping it in their respective pants, running under control in packs by team and never mixing it up, even with an opposing pack just 5 seconds ahead. All in all, not a terrific meet for the spectator, what with the lack of racing and the oppressive heat/humidity making for slow times, overall. The single point of note was the surprise of seeing a newcomer take home top honors. From NYIT, of all places; I don't even know what division they compete in. Kigen Evans played the role of poor-man's Sammy Chelanga (that role being "unknown breakout winner at Fordham Invite" - not "McDougals' wingman at Young Life social events") clocking 26:03, which, in my expert opinion, is a pretty respectable time on that course, in those conditions, for Week Two. DePaul also visited the heretofore Big East Championship course, where it took fourth behind the aforementioned Mid-Atlantic teams. After a healthy run at VCP and a year at Franklin Park in Boston, the Big East Champs will be crowned in Louisville Kentucky this year. Which is fitting, because when I think "Big" and "East," I immediately think of Louisville KY. Pictures!

Navy's pack to the front around 1200m.

Princeton and Penn follow.

Reid McEwen (Penn) and Kigen Evans (NYIT) lead, exiting the backhills around 4k.

Evans (L) comes home the winner, 26:03
McEwen (R) settles for 2nd in 26:16.

Navy's John Olson, John Kress and William Prom come home 5-6-7 in 26:36 and 26:37 - Princeton's pack is visible frame-left, content to stride home about 40m arears.

Princeton's pack cruising to 26:42 and 8th-11th place (12th place, also P-town, is obscured). No Dave Nightingale for the Tigers on Saturday, but they still get bonus points for the Cincinnati Bengal-esque tiger stripes in the "P" on their jerseys. (Hehehe... "P" on their jerseys...)

(post-script: If you ran in the Fordham Invitational, and they didn't have your photo over at Trackshark, e-mail us with your bib number and we'll check to see if we took a photo of you. Though I'm not really sure why you'd want one of my lousy, lousy photos. Also, we'd be more than happy to send you hi-res versions of any of these posted pictures, too, if any strike your fancy - email LessThanOurBest [AT] gmail [DOT] com.)

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