The University of Miami men’s cross country team finished 21st in the university race at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Charlotte, NC. The Hurricanes collectively scored 503 points and finished with a team time of 2:25:00.11 – an average of 29:00.2 over the eight-kilometer course.
This was Miami’s second race of the year after winning the UCF Invitational to start the season in early September.
“It was a whole different level of competition,” said UM runner Dan Boniface. “These teams were unreal. We wanted to place a little but higher up, but we did ok considering it was an extremely difficult course.”
The event, which was held at the Ballantyne Resort, saw 25 schools compete with a record 168 runners in this year’s University run. The Great American Cross Country Festival, an event that features 35 different cross-country races is also billed as one of Nike’s Great Races of America. The overall event projects 5000 runners from 40 states, Canada, Great Britain and Mexico.
Winning the 2002 University Team title was Northern Arizona with a low of 26 points. The team points is the total finish time of the school’s top five finishers. NAU finished with a total of 2:13.07.30, an average of 26:37.46 each.
The Hurricanes highest finishes came from their two only upperclassmen No. 56 junior Matt Mulvaney and No. 72 senior Dan Boniface. Mulvaney finished the course with a time of 27:47.6, Boniface finished in 28:02.5. NAU’s Henrik Ahnstrom, who won the event, finished with a time of 26:23.1.
“I definitely wanted to finish higher up, but I just never found my rhythm,” Boniface said. “The course was really muddy – I felt kind of lost out there.”
“Matt ran a great race through horrible conditions…He is tough as nails.”
Rounding out the rest of UM’s top five finishers was No. 99 freshman Alex Brutvan (28:39.1), No. 129 freshman James Mullaly (29:15.6) and No. 157 sophomore Matt Maloney (31:15.3). Sophomore Billy Bludgus (31:41.6), who finished sixth for UM came in 160th place.
The Hurricanes will next travel to the Gator Invitational in Gainesville on Oct. 5.
“This meet really showed us where we are,” Boniface said. “We are now really hungry and much better prepared for this weekend’s race in Gainesville.”
Article provided by the UM Sports Information Department.