Olson leads Panthers past four LEC teams
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Freshman Michael Olson (Sutton, Mass.) finished 24th overall to pace the Plymouth State University men's cross country team to a fifth place finish at the James Earley Invitational hosted by Westfield State at Stanley Park on Saturday.
Only two other Panthers in program history have posted faster times than Olson's 26:48.50, as the rookie was the second fastest runner from a Little East Conference (LEC) school on the day.
Plymouth State finished with 189 points to finish fifth in the field of 28 teams, and ahead of the four other LEC teams in attendance. Trinity College, ranked tenth in the New England region, earned the team win with 15 points and the races top five finishers.
James Earley Invitational (8k) – Plymouth State 5th of 28 Teams
How it Happened:
- Olson averaged a 5:23.6 mile to post a 26:48.50, finishing 1:05.90 off the leader's pace.
- Senior Noah Byington (Hanscom AFB, Mass.) finished 31st in 27:12.05, with freshman Michael Barrett (Hartford, Conn.) crossing the line in 27:47.69 in 48th.
- Sophomore Ben Platt (Manchester, N.H.) and freshman Brent Coope (Wolfeboro, N.H.) took 52nd and 54th with times of 27:54.80 and 28:00.12.
- Junior Jared Wolf (Tyngsborough, Mass.) and sophomore Kyle Mau (Dover, N.H.) were the Panthers' final two point scorers after ending up 66th and 83rd in the field of 206.
Inside the Numbers:
- Only recent graduates Sam Brunnette and Warren Bartlett have run faster 8k times than Olson's performance.
- PSU topped NCAA Division II programs University of New Haven and Saint Rose, and LEC rivals Castleton, Rhode Island College, UMass Boston and WestConn.
- The Panthers' top five average time of 27:32.63 was a season best for an 8k race.
- Plymouth State had seven runners finish in the top 30 of the JV race, led by freshman Colin Moar (Annandale, Va.), who finished third. With 54 points, the team won the JV race.
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"It was a good team day," said head coach John Ostler. "A nice bounce back from a subpar meet last week. Mike [Olson] is getting comfortable with the 8k and that is dangerous for the competition, not to mention our record books. Big credit to the guys in the JV race. They got our day off to a good start with a dominating win."
- Plymouth State will compete at the Suffolk Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 19), in one final tune up before the Little East Conference Championships.
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