Mahoney set to compete in NCAA Championships

Redshirt senior Travis Mahoney will race for the final time in his collegiate career today, as he competes in the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship at 1:15 p.m. in Louisville.

Mahoney, who was named Mid-Atlantic Regional Athlete of the Year after his first-place victory at regionals, is hoping to become the first Temple All-American in university history.

“I don’t think top 15 is out of the question if he races like he does [at regionals],” coach Adam Bray said. “I think he’s one of the top guys in the country and, to be honest with you, he’s kind of flown under the radar this season because in the past he hasn’t been a true cross country guy. He’s turning into that, before our eyes.”

The men’s race will, like regionals, be a 10k event, while the women will run in a 6k race. Both will be held at The E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.

The Temple News has previously reported that Mahoney would be racing Nov. 19, based off of information provided by the team’s communications department, but has since learned that date to have been incorrect.

-Avery Maehrer

Cross country completes fall competition at ICA4

Cross country will wrap up its season Saturday as the men’s team will race in the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletics of America Championships and the women’s team participates in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships at Van Courtlandt Park in the Bronx.

“We need to just keep going out there and getting better,” coach Adam Brady said. “It’s another opportunity to go out and race and show what we can do and take some more steps forward.”

At last year’s meet, then-sophomore Will Kellar’s 16th place finish helped the team claim a fifth-place finish of the 16 that participated. The women placed 15th in their race, the highest in program history.

The teams last raced at regionals last weekend, when redshirt senior Travis Mahoney won the event and qualified for the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. Sophomore Jenna Dubrow’s streak of leading the team in races stopped at 10 last week, as junior Anna Pavone finished four seconds earlier.

The men’s team will be without Mahoney, who will race in the national meet on Monday as he attempts to become Temple’s first ever All-American in cross country.

-Avery Maehrer

Mahoney named USTFCCCA Regional Athlete of the Year

Off the heels of his first-place finish at last weekend’s regional race, redshirt senior Travis Mahoney has been named Mid-Atlantic Regional Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, it was announced Tuesday.

Mahoney, who is the first regional champion in school history, is having a career year in cross country having also won the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships last month. His win there catapulted the men’s team to a program-best 4th place finish. Mahoney has already been named A-10 Outstanding Performer of the Year, and has been awarded the same title in track & field three times in his career.

Mahoney will look to become the first cross country All-American in Temple history when he competes in the NCAA Championship in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 19.

Avery Maehrer

Mahoney places first at regionals, qualifies for nationals

Redshirt senior Travis Mahoney won the men’s 8K NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional earlier today at Penn State, just two weeks after winning the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Mahoney’s finish qualifies him for the NCAA Championships, which will be held on Nov. 19 at Louisville University. The race will mark his final meet as a Temple Owl.

Mahoney last raced in the regional event during his junior year when he placed 66th overall. He is the first regional champion in the eight years the program has participated since being brought back to the university in 2005.

-Avery Maehrer

Cross country set to host A-10 Championships

The men’s and women’s cross country teams will host the rest of the Atlantic 10 Conference Saturday morning at Belmont Plateau in the A-10 Championships, the program’s final one before moving to the Big East Conference next season.

Having the meet at Temple’s practice course is an advantage coach Adam Bray hopes will be “huge.”

“I expect that it’s going to be pretty muddy and sloppy,” Bray said. “It’s been wet the past couple weeks, and there have been high school meets there so it’s being run on. That’s another advantage that goes in our favor because we know what the course has to offer, and we’ve done workouts on it.”

Junior Will Kellar, who led the team at last year’s A-10’s in Charlotte with a 36th place finish, voiced a similar opinion to that of Bray’s. Additionally, he is glad the team doesn’t have to travel as far as it has in years past.

“I think it’s going to be to our benefit to race there,” Kellar said. “We’ve been training there, pretty much all semester. And not only have we been training there, but it’s so close. It’s really convenient for us to not have to travel half way across the state or up and down the East Coast to get to the meet.”

Senior Rayna Kratchman says the team is looking to make more of an impact at this year’s race.

“I think definitely being a senior and the other runners on our team are very motivated to have the best race of our time at Temple and to hopefully do the best that we have at A-10’s thus far because we haven’t really made that impact on A-10’s yet,” Kratchman said. “But I think this year we’re going to come through and prepare for the Big East, and show that we’re ready.”

Redshirt senior Travis Mahoney and sophomore Jenna Dubrow have led their teams in every race they have participated in this year, and are the favorites to do so again tomorrow.

Last year’s A-10’s were won by La Salle on both the men’s and women’s sides, while Temple placed 10th and 12th, respectively.

The women’s 5k race will kick off at 10 a.m., while the men’s 8k is set for a 10:45 a.m. start time.

Avery Maehrer

Cross country runs in Leopard Invitational

The men’s and women’s cross country teams will continue their season Saturday at Lafayette University, as the men’s and women’s teams will race in the Leopard Invitational.

“I think for both teams, I’m looking for them to continue to progress and get better,” coach Adam Bray said. “I’d like to pull down the gap a little bit more, and build upon our success. That goes for both teams.”

At the Paul Short Invitational, the men’s team saw redshirt senior Travis Mahoney participate in his first cross country race in nearly two years. He didn’t disappoint, breaking a school record with his sixth place finish while leading the team to a program-best 19th place finish overall. The team’s strong effort resulted in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association to rank the team 13th in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the latest weekly polls.

On the women’s side at the Paul Short Invitational, sophomore Jenna Dubrow brought her streak of leading the team to eight meets while also breaking a school record with her 13th place finish. The team placed 26th overall, which like the men’s team, was a program best. Dubrow hopes to build further upon her success during tomorrow’s race.

“I definitely feel like there’s more to come,” she said after the Paul Short Invitational. “Hopefully next race I can dig even deeper than I did [last race].”

The meet will serve as the team’s last race before the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, which will be the program’s final year of participating before transitioning to the Big East Conference next year.

-Avery Maehrer

Cross country gears up for Paul Short Invitational

The women’s cross country team will return to action Friday afternoon at Lehigh University, as they participate in the 39th Annual Paul Short Invitational in the Brown 6k race at 1:00 p.m. The Owls are coming off a second-place finish at the Friend Invitational, a first-time event hosted by Temple in remembrance of the late Roswell Friend, a former member of the program.

Sophomore Jenna Dubrow’s dominance continued into her sophomore debut at the event, as she finished in first place. Last year, Dubrow had the highest placement ever by a Temple student at the Paul Short Invitational with a 40th place finish. First-year coach Adam Bray said he sees a bright future both this year and beyond for Dubrow.

“The sky is the limit for Jenna,” Bray said after the team’s first meet. “I think she’s a girl that can finish pretty well in the conference meet and hopefully she can finish well at the regional meet. Down the road she could be a national qualifier in cross country.”

“She’s starting to realize she has a special gift, and that she has to get everything out of herself to be successful,” Bray added.

Last week, the team utilized a similar strategy as the men, to not run full force until the very end of the race. This week, however, will be different, Bray said. 

“We’re not going to have that same race plan,” Bray said. “I want them to get in the mix a little more and see them race and compete. I’m not so much worried about the times. Each course is different, and you can’t always count on time. But I want to see them compete and beat people.”

Led by sophomore Cullen Davis, the men will look to build upon their first-place finish at the Friend Invitational, as they head to Lehigh University to take part in the Gold 8k race in the 39th Annual Paul Short Invitational at 11 a.m. Making his season debut in his final year with the team will be redshirt-senior Travis Mahoney. He was left out of last week’s race’s due to a number of factors.

“We sat down and talked and both agreed it’s best not to run his first week,” Bray said after the team’s first meet. “He had a little bit of a flu the week before, and I didn’t want to beat him up. He’s talented enough to qualify for the national meet and be an All-American. Beating him up early in the season isn’t going to help him later this year.”

Last week, the race plan was set for endurance and conservation. Only in the final minutes were the athletes to run at full strength. Like the women, the men will have a somewhat different race plan come Friday.

“I want the guys to get in there and mix it up and compete. The whole roster is talented, and they can do some talented things. We’re building momentum. If we continue to do that and stay healthy—I don’t know what place we’ll get, but the result will be good.”

Last year, Temple placed 44th as a team, and was led by now-sophomore Matthew Kacyon.

Avery Maehrer

Cross country debuts strong at Friend Invitational

The cross country teams opened their season at the Friend Invitational with two strong first-place finishes from sophomores Cullen Davis and Jenna Dubrow.

As a team, the men’s squad won with 24 total points, beating inter-city rivals La Salle and Saint Joseph’s, who scored 31 and 85 points respectively. On the women’s side, Dubrow’s strong race led to a second-place team finish with 36 team points, trailing La Salle (29), but besting Saint Joseph’s (63).

Dubrow’s first-place finish continues her streak of leading the women’s team in every race so far in her collegiate career. Davis, on the other hand, continues to improve. After a breakout performance in last year’s Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, Davis picked up right where he left off.

Davis was followed by junior Will Kellar, who was the race’s runner-up, while sophomore Matt Kacyon placed fourth overall. Senior Tonney Smith placed sixth overall in the women’s race, while sophomore Chelsea Carleton and senior Rayna Kratchman placed seventh and 10th, respectively.

The Owls will continue their season on Sept. 28 at the Paul Short Invitational, hosted by Lehigh University.

-Avery Maehrer

Runners ready for first meet

The cross country season officially kicks off tomorrow afternoon, as the men’s and women’s teams will host the Friend Invitational at West Fairmount Park’s Belmont Plateau course at 3 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. respectively.
Newly hired coach Adam Bray, who has had just a few weeks to prepare with the team, is looking forward to seeing his athletes in action for the first time.
“I want to see them compete, first and foremost,” Bray said. “I haven’t seen them race other than [redshirt senior Travis Mahoney] at the national meet. So I want to see how competitive they’re going to be.”
Mahoney, a two-time All American, is what Bray calls the “one key ingredient” to the current roster, and has evolved into a leader and role model for both teams. Although he will not be running in Friday’s event due to strategic reasons, last week he discussed what the race will accomplish for the Owls.
“It’s more of a rust-buster,” Mahoney said. “It’s to kick the rust off the legs and run and see what we’ve built up over the summer—and what we’re made of.”
The men’s squad, which placed 10th in last year’s Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, will face fierce competition in the event, as it hosts La Salle University and Saint Joseph’s University. La Salle is coming off of a strong 2011 season in which it won the A-10 title, led by a first place finish from now-senior Alfredo Santana. Last week, in La Salle’s opener, Santana had another first place finish in a match against the University of Pennsylvania. St. Joe’s finished third in the conference last year, and featured Rookie of the Year Paul Szulewski. The Friend Invitational will be the Hawks’ third race of their season.
On the women’s side, which placed 12th in last year’s A-10 Championships, the Owls will also face two solid teams. Like the men’s team, La Salle’s women snagged a first place finish in last year’s A-10 Championships, while Saint Joseph’s placed fifth. Temple has just two freshmen on its current roster, and hopes its returning athletes—including last year’s team leader sophomore Jenna Dubrow—will provide valuable experience for the team this season.
Rayna Kratchman, who is one of four seniors on the roster, is looking forward to racing on the team’s home course at Belmont.
“I think we’re all excited to be able to race there,” she said.
Kratchman would like to see the team do better in the conference, in what is its last year before moving to the Big East.
“I definitely would like to be able to make a little more of an impact, as a team, in the A-10’s, because in the past we’ve kind of hung in the middle,” Kratchman said. “But I’m hoping that we can move ourselves up given that we’re going to be in the Big East next year.”
If that is Temple’s goal going into the season, doing well in tomorrow’s meet against two conference inter-city rivals would be an awfully good start.
-Avery Maehrer

Track hires new assistant/cross country coach

Track & field coach Eric Mobley has hired Adam Bray, formerly of the University of Illinois and Maryland University, as his new assistant coach, a press release indicated Thursday.

Bray was at Illinois from 2009-12 as a volunteer assisting with the men’s and women’s cross country teams. He held the same position at Maryland the previous two years.

Bray graduated from Akron University in 2005, and was graduate assistant for the Zips for the 2005-06 season in which the team won cross country, indoor and outdoor track team titles in the Mid-American Conference.

Bray replaces former coach Matt Jelley, who resigned from Temple to take an assistant job at Maryland on Aug. 13. Jelley was an assistant under Mobley for track & field and coached men’s and women’s cross country during his five-year tenure at Temple.