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Powell Earns Honors, Cross Country heads to USCAA Nationals

The PSUAC Cross Country team stops for an impromptu team photo after running in PSUAC Championships this past Saturday.
The PSUAC Cross Country team stops for an impromptu team photo after running in PSUAC Championships this past Saturday.


FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. - Saturday, October 27, Penn State Scranton's Men's and Women's Cross Country teams hit the road to compete at the 2018 PSUAC Cross Country championships hosted by Penn State Mont Alto at Norlo Park in Fayetteville, PA. With rainy, cold and wet conditions as the backdrop for the biggest race of the season, the ladies took to the start line. Freshman, Caitlyn Powell set the pace for PSU Scranton finishing the 6K course in 32:30 good enough to secure a sixth-place finish along with a coveted spot on the 2018 PSUAC Women's Cross Country All-Conference team. Powell was followed up by sophomore, Leah Byman with a ninth-place finish at 34:06. The women's field was wrapped up with the finishes of senior, Cheyenne Tussel in 13th place with a time of 36:16 and Alexis Karayanis in 14th place with a time of 36:27. Penn State Schuylkill ran away with the championship claiming their third consecutive title in the PSUAC.


The men's race shot off with slightly better weather as the rain receded leaving the runners to battle the cold, wet and muddy conditions of the course. Senior, Kyle Franceski led Penn State Scranton's men with a 25th place finish at a time of 35:48. Sophomore, Jack Meyer finished with a time of 39:47 in 27th place, freshman, Matt O'Neill and junior, Robert Murphy wrapped up the day for PSU Scranton with finishes in 31st and 32nd in times of 47:57 and 51:02. PSU Fayette also took home their third consecutive PSUAC championship title.


"Both the men's and women's teams ran great today, despite the weather conditions," commented Head Coach Diana Kloss.  Kloss, in her first year as head coach, was the team's assistant coach for the last few years, and before that, a top runner for PSU Scranton Cross Country.  "It takes a serious amount of mental toughness to put the elements aside and run a strong race," she said, having competed in many PSUAC Championships herself, earning a multitude of All-Conference, All-American and academic awards.  "This team has proven time and time again just how strong they are.  Many are brand new runners and are showing their force.  They continuously bring out the best in each other and hold a strong bond as teammates."


Diana, affectionately known as 'Coach K' to her team, applauded the teams, no matter who went home with the title.  "Winning does mean you are talented, but our team possesses so much more and that is what makes them winners." 


The teams will hit the road for the USCAA National Championship meet in Virginia Beach November 7-9th to cap the 2018 season.