Women's Team Looks to Defend Title as Cross Country Teams Compete at Disney World Classic

Women's Team Looks to Defend Title as Cross Country Teams Compete at Disney World Classic

The Youngstown State women's cross country team seeks its second straight Disney World Cross Country Classic Championship and the men's team competes in the classic for the first time since 2017 this weekend at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The races will be broadcast on ESPN3 starting with the men's 8K race at 7:40 a.m. and the women's 5K race at 8:20 a.m.

Last Time Out
Junior Natalie Fleming ran a personal-best time of 18:05.89 in the 5K and sophomore Chris Butler posted a time of 25:18.82 to lead the Youngstown State women's and men's cross country teams, respectively, at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 4. Out of 29 opportunities, the Penguins posted 19 personal-best times. Fleming's time, which placed 49th, ranks tied for seventh in program history in the 5K while Butler's time ranks ninth in in the 8K/5-mile run. 

Four Crack Record Book
At the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, four members of the women's team broke into the top 15 all-time in the 5K. Along with Fleming's time that tied for seventh, freshman Morgan Cole finshed 56th with a time of 18:08.82 and moved into 10th all-time in program history while junior Ashleigh Rowley placed 66th with a time of 18:15.62, which ranks as the 13th-fastest time in school history. Junior Nicole Squatrito time of 18:20.26 placed 77th and ranks tied for 15th in school history.

Men Impressive at Notre Dame
Paced by Butler's 45th place finish, the Penguins finished 16th.  Tyler Polman posted a time of 25:38.09 to finish 70th, Derek Basinger turned in a time of 25:51.74, Cole Lovett ran a 25:53.89, and Sean Peterson finished with a 25:56.26. Ethan Sparks recorded a time of 26:13.10, Matthew Mangus finished in 26:19.56, Cameron Binda had a 26:48.88 and Ethan Dobler posted a time of 27:02.71.

Up Next
Next week, the women's team will split up and compete in two races. One group will head to State College, Pa., for the 6K Penn State National Cross Country Meet on Friday, Oct. 18, while another group is run at the Canisius Alumni Open, Saturday, Oct. 19. The men's team will also compete at Canisius. After a week off, the Penguins will compete in the 2019 Horizon League Championships hosted by Northern Kentucky in Highland Heights, Ky., on Nov. 2.