(Posted September 9, 2006)

ANNVILLE, Pa. ? The Juniata College cross country teams got their first looks at some of their MAC and regional rivals Saturday at the Lebanon Valley Invitational. And if Juniata?s performances were any indication, the Eagles are in fine shape to remain among the top teams in both the region and the conference. Both the men and the women?s teams enjoyed third-place finishes at the meet, with both third-place efforts coming from a field of 15 teams. MEN?S The Juniata men?s team placed three of their top-five runners in the top-26 to capture 105 points for a third-place finish. The Eagles trailed second-place Messiah by 26 points. Leading the Juniata team was freshman Matt Bailey (Hempfield/East Petersburg) who claimed an impressive sixth-place showing in his first race at the 8K distance. Bailey posted a time of 27:58.86 to lead Juniata. The Eagles then had runners in 15th and 16th position with Shawn Rumery (Thornton Academy/Dayton, Maine) and Mike Chirdon (Riverview/Verona) respectively claiming those spots. Rumery ran a time of 28:18.97 while Chirdon was just two seconds behind with a time of 29:20.89. Eric Hoover (Brandywine/Wilmington, Del.) was next for the Eagles as he came home in a time of 29:01.31 which was good for a 26th-place finish. Rounding out the top five for Juniata was freshman Sam Williams (Central/Roaring Spring) who placed 42nd and ran a time of 29:39.21 Frank Eanes of Messiah was the overall winner on the men?s side as he ran a time of 27:03.77. WOMEN?S Juniata?s women?s team earned 94 points en route to its third-place finish. The Eagle women had all five runners finish in the top 30 and came in just 26 points behind University of Mary Washington who placed second. Meghan Jones (Meadville/Meadville) was the top finisher for the Eagles as she raced home in eighth place and posted a time of 21:14.06. The remainder of the Eagles came home in a pack as the team had four runners finish between 17th and 26th position. Lia Bella (Morris Hills/Rockaway, N.J.) was 17th for the Blue and Gold, running a time of 21:31.91. Lauren Gates (Bishop Guilfoyle/Altoona) finished just two spots behind her and ran a time of 21:38.11. Meghan Fahy (Brandywine/Wilmington, Del.) snuck into the top-25 with her 24th-place finish which came with her running a time of 21:48.61. Freshman Sarah Spatz (Governor Mifflin/Mohnton) rounded out the top five as her 21:54.21 was good enough for a 26th-place finish. Amy Agnolutto of Messiah crossed the line first in the women?s race, posting a time of 20:17.70. Juniata will be back in action next Saturday as the Eagles compete at the Waynesburg Invitational. ###

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