Muddy terrain and an unfamiliar course proved little of an
obstacle this weekend as the men’s and women’s cross country teams
raced past the competition in Pennsylvania.
The men destroyed the field, galloping to a first-place finish.
Four runners finished in the top 10, led by senior Austin Vigil
(third, 25 minutes, 41 seconds)
Crossing alongside Vigil, junior Mike Nicks finished fourth.
They were followed by Josh Glaab (25:49) and Bill Michel (25:50),
who finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
“We were able to run as a team, especially our top four,” Vigil
said. “Our strategy was to start in the middle and move up.
Eventually, Nicks and I just ran it in together.”
Throughout the season the men have been plagued with a lack of
contribution from a fifth runner. This weekend sophomore Matt
Ciencuilli provided a solution to that problem.
“Matt really stepped it up and had a great race,” Vigil
Ciencuilli finished 16th in a time of 26:28. Rounding out the
men’s field were Matt Petit (24th, 26:39) and Paul DiGrappa (27th,
The women ran to a fourth place finish. Senior Katie Yemm set
the pace for the Rams. She finished 12th overall in 21:15.
The meet provided an opportunity for the women to even the score
with a handful of teams that placed ahead of CSU at the Roy Griak
meet in Minnesota two weeks ago.
The home team, Penn State, barely edged out the Rams, finishing
third, and Providence won the race. However, the team achieved
victory over Tennessee and South Florida to gain valuable points
“We raced three teams that beat us at Griak,” Yemm said. “We
were, by far, the most improved.”
CSU traveled to Penn State instead of Waterloo, Iowa, avoiding
the Pre-NCAA meet held there this weekend.
The strategic move allowed the Rams to avoid the clutter of the
Pre-NCAA’s while still gaining valuable experience against stiff
“It was really good to have a race where we could focus on our
goal,” Yemm said. “By going to Pennsylvania we helped ourselves. We
worked together and stayed close together.”
Crystal Clark (16th, 21:22) Nicole Feest (17th, 21:23), Michelle
Carman (21st, 21:26), Sarah MacKay (23rd, 21:32) and Colleen Blair
(24th, 21:36) followed Yemm, making six runners within the top
The men also saw an advantage in racing outside of Iowa.
“We gained experience and confidence,” Vigil said.
The Rams continue to impress the crowds and continue to pound
the opposition. Steady speed and a strategic mind have propelled
the Rams to their lofty national rankings. The men sit at ninth,
the women at 20th in the national cross country polls.