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In the team's season-opening run, sophomore Cullen Davis
paced the Temple men's cross country team to a meet title in the 8k race with his first place time of 27:27 in the Friend Invitational at Belmont Plateau on Friday afternoon. Junior Will Kellar
also had a strong impact in Temple's finish, placing as the race's runner-up with a time of 27:49.
Running against a pair of city-rival and Atlantic 10 Conference foes, the Owls tallied 24 team points to defeat La Salle (31) and Saint Joseph's (85).
Remembering their former teammate Roswell Friend, who suddenly passed away at the start of the 2011 season, Temple Cross Country planned to open the 2012 season with a meet that would be run in remembrance of him. Hosting their first meet since reestablishing the cross country program at Temple University
, the Owls saw this as the perfect opportunity and reason to hold a meet.
“Since last year, we have wanted to do something as a team that could honor Roswell Friend,” head coach Eric Mobley said. “We are keeping Roswell in our hearts and we plan to run and host this meet in his honor every year going forward. We had a great turn out today—and I was very excited about that.”
Davis and Kellar picked up from last season's consistency to spur the Owls to their first cross country meet title since Nov. 20, 2010 when it placed first for the second straight year at the IC4A University Section Champioship.
was outstanding today," assistant coach Adam Bray said. "He did a great job at executing our plan for him to turn it on in the second half of the race. Everyone did as asked and they all executed in the second half of the race. I'm very proud of our effort today."
Sophomore Matt Kacyon
ran the 8k in a very impressive time of 28:06 to land himself into fourth place overall.
Of the eight runners the Owls had in Friday's meet, five placed within the top 10. In addition to Davis, Kellar and Kacyon, freshman Steven Flynn
placed eighth (28:40) and junior Phil Fanz was the ninth person to cross the finish line (28:51).
Rounding out the Owls' lineup, sophomore Timothy Collins
came 12th (29:13), while freshmen William Maltin
crossed the final line in 29:54 (14th) and Ryan Debarberie completed the run in 30:23 (16th)
From here, the Owls will begin to prepare for their next race, which will be held at Lehigh University—the site of the annual Paul Short Invitational on Sept. 28.