By: Muhammad Waheed, Assistant Sports Editor
File Photo by The Towerlight
Freshman Olivia Janke was the first Towson runner to cross the finish line as her team placed sixth out of ninth at the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) cross country championship Friday morning in Farmingdale, New York.
Janke placed 16th timing 21:55 in her first CAA championship appearance.
“We’re extremely encouraged about Olivia,” Head Coach Mike Jackson said. “She loves the sport. She loves everything about it. She’s just super positive excited about every single element. She is involved with our program and she is a shining light and we’re super excited about what she’s doing and her overall future with our program…. She represented us very well.”
Junior Erica Israel placed 18th and timed 21:57 while senior Abby Gauthier came in 29th timing 22:19. Both runners along with Janke were Towson’s top three to finish in the top 30.
“Very encouraging as well,” Jackson said. “Erica’s had a solid season throughout the year. This is also her best individual performance and Abby Gauthier had a much improvement as well and so individually there were a lot of good things, but we’re just really focused on the team performance and trying to improve as a team from top to bottom.”
Towson did improve on their placement in the CAA championship as they placed seventh last year, but that was not their team goal.
“Well it’s always a positive to improve on a place prior season, but our ultimate goal was top five so that goal was not reached so there is a level of disappointment,” Jackson said. “We’re just looking for our team to be more and more confident and competitive and to continue to build on what we’re trying to do as a program so the bottom line is we’re disappointed.”
The team of eight runners averaged a time of 22:40.
The next event for Towson will be the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional which is hosted by Penn State on Friday, Nov. 9.
“Our bottom line is that we ask our student athletes to define their goal for going into this last meet and so we’ll expect that they think about it as a group this weekend and then we’ll discuss it further so they’re going to dictate how this next competition goes,” Jackson said.”