Cross country makes history

After entering the WVIAC just a year ago, the Seton Hill University (SHU) men’s cross country team claimed the 2009 championship title.

By Tiffany Gilbert

Editor in Chief

After entering the WVIAC just a year ago, the Seton Hill University (SHU) men’s cross country team claimed the 2009 championship title.

October 24 marked the infamous day in history as the team clenched the first winning WVIAC title for any Griffin team. The team finished with a total of 51 points. Freshman Dominic Camasso finished in first place in the championship race. Comasso was also named MVP and Freshman of the Year.

“I came from a school where winning was expected. Second place was not an option. Now I’m at Seton Hill where they could never comprehend winning a cross country invitational, let alone a conference championship,” said Comasso. “From day one, everyone was working hard and taking this season seriously.”

Freshman John Bogert, junior Mike Ortiz and Comasso were named first team all conference. Bogert finished fifth overall and Ortiz finished sixth. Jess Bradley, a senior was named on the second team all conference honors as he finished 14th.

“Every runner from the team was a vital part in achieving this conference championship,” said Bogert.

The Griffin’s vitality ultimately exceeded perfection even though the weather and conditions during the championship were less-than-perfect.

“The race was epic, there was rain and mud along with electric fences and falling trees. Every runner from Seton Hill gave their all, each collapsing as they crossed the finish line. When the dust settled we had claimed what was ours, the school’s first WVIAC team champion,” said Bogert.

“Coach Creamer told me when I first sat in his office that we would have a conference title before I graduated and he fulfilled that promise. But it was achieved through the hard work of every runner that has had the privilege to be part of this team,” said senior Chris Bartko.

After plotting crazy antics and pulling pranks on the women’s cross country team, these athletes set aside their scheming attitudes to prepare for success.

“From day one, I knew we were a special team. At first I feared how all this craze would interfere with our team’s chance of being successful,” said Comasso. “The day of the conference, we wanted it. Nobody was taking the championship from us that day,” he said.

Training and preparation are key elements to achieving victory, but a group unity and team effort is just as, if not more, important. Supporting and sustaining one another is a major factor in accomplishing the success.

“At the end of the season I did not win a race, but I felt this conference was one of the best races I could ever be a part of, because our team finally came together, made history, and achieved the win which I sought for three long years,” said Ortiz.

“This season has been the most difficult yet in terms of training, as well as the mental aspect,” said Bartko. “We had a great deal to live up to and expectations were high, but this team lived up to them and more. We never gave up and now as the school’s first WVIAC champions, we won’t be forgotten.”