(Posted September 23, 2006)

ALTOONA, Pa. - The Juniata College men?s and women?s cross country teams battled a strong field of upper division opponents and still came away with some strong finishes as both the men?s and women?s teams claimed third-place finishes at the Lion Invitational hosted by Penn State-Altoona Saturday afternoon. The Juniata women earned 63 points to place third out of an eight-team field, while the men?s squad ran home with 71 points and placed third among seven teams. Both teams finished behind Bucknell and Robert Morris. WOMEN?S The top finisher for the Juniata women was also the top finisher for both Juniata teams as Mghan Jones (Meadville/Meadville) ran to a sixth-place finish to lead a strong pack of Juniata runners. Jones placed sixth with a time of 21:05.6 narrowly holding off the seventh-place runner. Aubrey Cyphert (Seneca/North East) was next for the Eagles as she earned herself a top-10 finish by placing 10th with a time of 21:34.2. The remaining three point scorers for Juniata came home in a pack as Meghan Fahy (Brandywine/Wilmington, Del.) Kristen Gochnauer (Warwick/Lititz) and Lauren Gates (Bishop Guilfoyle/Altoona) were 14th, 16th and 17th respectively. Fahy ran a time of 21:47.0 for her 14th-place finish, Gochnauer came across the line in 22:02.7 and Gates was just behind her with a time of 22:04.6. Juniata finished 16 points ahead of Division I Saint Francis which earned a fourth-place team finish. Allyson Sheehan of Saint Francis finished first overall in the race as she posted a time of 20:38.3. MEN?S The Juniata men also had a pair of top-10 finishes on the day, which helped them to their third-place team effort. Matthew Bailey (Hempfield/East Petersburg) was the top finisher for the Eagles for the second-consecutive week as he ran to a seventh-place finish. His time of 26:11.8 was .5 seconds ahead of the eighth-place finisher, which happened to be his teammate Shawn Rumery (Thornton Academy/Dayton, Maine). Rumery earned his eighth-place effort with a time of 26:12.2. Juniata?s third runner on the day was Mike Chirdon (Riverview/Verona) whose time of 26:54.9 was good enough to earn him a 15th-place finish. Eric Hoover (Brandywine/Wilmington, Del.) was the fourth runner across the line for Juniata as he placed 18th and ran a time of 27:03.7. Rounding out Juniata?s top five was another freshman as Sam Williams (Central/Roaring Spring) placed 24th in the meet. He crossed the line in a time of 27:35.4. Juniata finished just one point ahead of Saint Francis, marking the second time this season the Eagles have finished in front of the Red Flash in a meet. Juniata defeated Saint Francis in its opening meet of the season, a tri-meet with Penn State-Altoona The top overall finisher on the men?s side was John Balouris of Saint Francis who ran a time of 25:26.0. Juniata will return to action next Saturday with its second tri-meet of the season, with this one taking place at Gettysburg. ###

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