Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Fontal at the WUXC Invite, taken by Frank Stallworth.
SALISBURY, Md. - - A pair of top five finishes highlighted the Wilmington University cross country teams competing at the 28th Annual Don Cathcart Invitational on Saturday morning at Winter Place Park.
Senior Ken Fontal led the Wildcats with a second place finish while sophomore Isaac Ndirangu finished fourth to lead the men to a fourth place team finish. Rachel Jones' 26 points led the women's team to a ninth place finish in the team standings.
It's the first time this season the veteran got eh better of the newcomer, as Fontal finished second in the men's 8K event. Fontal only trailed Salisbury's Branson Oduor, finishing the meet in 25:52.20, under five seconds from the lead. Ndirangu was less than three second behind his teammate, but Messiahs Benjamin Schott was in between the two to force Ndirangu to fourth place. Ndirangu ran the 8K in 25:56.15.
Junior transfer Korey Jeffries finished 26th as the Wildcats' third runner, crossing the line in 27:16.95. Graduate student Logan Brady finished 51st overall, earning the team 32 points with his time of 28:31.33 while freshman Zach Panza rounded out the Wildcats scoring in 58th place, earning 35 points with a time of 28:50.42.
Johnathan Avila finished 61st overall with a time of 28:55.38 while Manuel Suero placed 66th overall with a time of 29:25.86. Jayven Davis rounded out the Wildcats on the course with an 87th place finish, crossing the line in 36:10.67.
Host Salisbury won the men's event with 27 points followed by Christopher Newport and Messiah's 65 points. Wilmington finished fourth overall with 85 points.
On the women's side, Jones paced the Wildcats with 26 points, finishing 28th overall with a time of 24:26.42. Tori Vickers followed just behind Jones in 30th overall, gaining 28 points for the Wildcats. She finished the 6K course in 24:31.80. Tara Langan gave the Wildcats 46 points with a 52nd place finish, crossing the line in 25:59.21.
Graduate student Joelle Prettyman and senior Christine Czajkowski finished back-to-back to round out the Wildcats' scoring. Prettyman finished 61st overall for 53 points, running the course in 26:28.74 while Czajkowski finished 62nd overall for 54 points in 26:33.14.
Messiah won the women's event with 42 points while host Salisbury finished second with 52 points. Mansfield rounded out the top three with 108 points.
The Wildcats are back on the course next Saturday when they head to the site of where the NCAA Division II National Championship will be held. They will win the Abbey Course in St. Leo, Fla., hosted by St. Leo University starting at 7:30 a.m.