Photo: Jake Caruso (left) was RCGC's top finisher in the Bill Fritz Invitational at Rowan University on Saturday, Sept. 16.
Sweltering heat and tough NCAA competition. That's what RCGC's men's cross country team faced Saturday afternoon, but it proved to be a solid stepping stone for coach Ryan Hughes' team.
Jake Caruso (Eastern Regional), a junior college national champion in the steeplechase last spring, was the top overall finisher for the Roadrunners in the Bill Fritz Invitational at Rowan University on a humid, sticky afternoon.
James Kennedy (Williamstown) and Mike Dowd (Williamstown) followed in second and third place respectively. Jacob Smeltzer, Tyler Ellis, Sam Carter and Chris Conlon also placed among the top seven for RCGC.
"There was some really tough competition here plus everyone battled the heat," said Caruso, who covered the Rowan course in 27 minutes, 37.6 seconds. "It's early in the season, so this was a good test for us."
Caruso placed eighth overall in the individual race as Rowan University captured team honors with 27 points.
Overall the Runners took eighth place against some tough NCAA competition.
Kennedy, an All-American last season for RCGC, enjoyed a solid day despite the sticky conditions when he finshed the course in 28:40.58 for 34th place overall.
"Humid weather is tough, and I don't think I had to race in these conditions last season," said Kennedy. "I definitely prefer the cooler weather, and I'm sure a day like this will help us down the road."
Freshman Mike Dowd was definitely not a fan of the heat.
"I felt like I was running in the desert," said Dowd following the race. "This was a tough day, but we'll continue to improve."
See Photo album Fritz Invitational at Rowan University