For six members of the cross country team, the season ended on a high.
The Bulls traveled to Ithaca, N.Y. for the Reif Invite on Friday night to participate in their final meet of the season. Only six runners participated, but it was nonetheless a strong performance by the team.
The six runners who made the trip for the Bulls were freshmen Cord Sgaglio, Aaron Walker, and Hilary Swartwood, sophomore Caitlin Curry, junior Katie Sheenan, and senior Kristen Swanson.
"I was very pleased with the kids' performances tonight," said head coach Vicki Mitchell. "We took a small group to this meet. It was a great opportunity for some runners who are not going to run at the conference meet to get some closure to their season."
The Bulls had many obstacles over the course of the meet, including weather, a challenging course, and strong competition.
"The times were irrelevant in today's meet," Mitchell said. "It was a very windy day and the course was very challenging. I was more concerned with placement when it came to the other runners than the actual times put out."
Mitchell was very pleased with the four women and two men who traveled for the meet.
"It was a very strong performance for the women, and the men did very well also, considering both are freshman," Mitchell said.
Of all the runners that performed at the meet, Sgaglio and Swartwood were the standout performers.
Sgaglio finished 5th out of 43 competitors in the men's 5k race, placing behind three unattached competitors and a runner from Cortland. Sgaglio's time was 17:25.1.
Swartwood placed 26th out of 42 participants in the women's 5k race. She finished the race with a time of 20:41.8.
The next best performer for the women was Sheenan, who finished the race with a time of 21:18.2. The time was good for 30th place.
Swanson came in slightly after – in 33rd place with a time of 21:23.6.
Curry closed out the Bulls runners in the event with a time of 21:51.9. She finished 34th overall.
The last competitor for Buffalo was Walker, who ran in the men's 5-mile race. Walker ran the race in a time of 28:04.5 and finished 22nd out of the 30 competitors.
This race gave the six runners from the Bulls a great chance to improve, learn and prepare for the future. The rough conditions, combined with the difficult course and strong competition, provided a great opportunity to learn and improve.
"The biggest thing that can be improved on for next year is consistency," Mitchell said. "You have to put the mileage in over the offseason as well as learn how to compete. This will improve throughout the college years as the younger runners become more comfortable being a student athlete at the college level."
The next meet for the rest of the Buffalo cross country team is in the Mid-American Conference Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. next weekend.