Men’s and women’s cross country win Allegheny Classic


Photo provided by Allegheny Athletics

Tim Weighart, ’22, coasts to a first place finish in the Allegheny Classic on Saturday. Sept. 18.

The Allegheny men’s and women’s cross country teams took home their second meet wins of the year at the Allegheny Classic on Sept. 18. The men’s team took first in a pool of seven teams while the women’s team won in a pool of eight teams. The teams in each race were all local, including three future President’s Athletic Conference rivals in Chatham University, Grove City College, and Thiel College.

This was the first time in the three year history of the event that both Allegheny teams placed first in their home meet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was also the first time since 2019 that Allegheny has been able to host the event. Because of this, runners on both teams were excited to compete in Meadville again.

“This year has been really close to normal in the way that we’ve been operating, which has been encouraging,” said Head Coach Ben Mourer, ’07. “Right now both teams are looking forward to getting out and showing how good they can be.”

The men’s team was strong at their home meet, capturing seven of the top nine spots in the four mile race, including a first place finish from men’s captain and NCAC Athlete of the Week Tim Weighart ’22. The women’s team was able to take 40 points, as they placed seven of their own runners in the top 15.

Coach Mourer and his teams were happy with their performance over the weekend, as runners from both teams cited how well they stuck to their racing strategy.

“I’m really happy about how we’re packing up, we have the second pack that’s a little further back from our front guys and they’re looking incredibly strong right now,” Weighart said. “I have never seen it that strong in my four years here and we have a lot of guys who are really focused on winning races, I just really like the atmosphere we have going.”

This victory for both teams came from a surge of momentum after the Chatham Cougar Challenge which was the first meet for both teams. Both teams captured first at this event as Weighart was able to take his first win of the year on the men’s side, while Emma Wall, ’24, was able to take first in the women’s competition.

The teams are confident in the way they are running, however they look to further improve throughout the course of the season. In doing so, Mourer and his staff have their runners train in phases as they work up to full speed as the season progresses.

“We’re about to enter a new phase of our training, but right now I think we’re struggling a little bit in pushing through the hard part of a race,” said women’s team captain Eva Kerr, ’23.  “The next phase of our training will help us get to that next level, and get all of our speed.”

Although the competition will be tougher in their next event, the teams still feel confident in their abilities and hope to use it as a chance to hone their skills even further.

Mourer is also happy to be at the helm of what he thinks are two very strong teams.

“We’re going to go into October as two undefeated teams which is pretty cool,” Mourer said. “The competition in the first two meets was not at a super high level, but I know that we’re very competitive teams based on those results.”

While both teams were excited to compete in their first two meets, Mourer and his runners look forward to their next event — the Lehigh Paul Short Run — where they will compete against division one and division two schools.

This will be the largest meet of the regular season for both teams, which gives them a good chance to test their skills in a bigger race against more schools. This event will also allow runners to see where they measure up individually.

“Paul Short is usually a race where we all PR, so it’s just really fun,” Kerr said.“I’m just looking for everyone to have a good time and show how good we are on a large scale.”

Following the Paul Short Run, the teams will enter their conference schedule in preparation for the NCAC championship meet, and nationals beyond that. Because of the school’s move to the Presidents Athletic Conference, the team is excited for their last chance to win the NCAC.

The last time both teams won the conference in the same year was 2016, and Mourer has made it clear that he thinks his teams have enough talent to finish their final season as champions of the NCAC.

“This is our last year in the North Coast (Athletic) Conference, and we have made it extremely clear in all team meetings, our goal is to win both conference championships,” Mourer said. “Both teams can win a conference championship and we are very much looking forward to trying to do that.”