Point Park University Men's Cross Country much-improved for 2014 season
Aug. 29, 2014
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University men's cross country team enters its 2014 season with most talented and deep roster in team history. The Pioneers' first competition is Friday, Aug. 29 at the Wooster Invitational (7 p.m.).
The Pioneers, under 11th-year head coach Jim Irvin, return each of their top three runners from the 2013 season, and they've also added a crop of newcomers -- mostly freshmen -- who will have a heavy impact on the top seven right away.
Point Park's returners are led by senior Connor Mulvaney (Coraopolis, Pa./Moon Area HS), who was All-KIAC Second Team and an NAIA national championship qualifier last year. Mulvaney sustained a preseason injury that will keep him out a number of weeks but can return for conference championships. Mulvaney's best time of 28:26 came at the KIAC Meet last year.
Other returners are juniors Zane Kravec (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin HS), who narrowly missed qualifying for nationals the last two years, and Eric Engel (St. Louis, Mo./Whitfield School), the Pioneers' No. 3 runner from 2013. Kravec has a career-best time of 28:34, and Engel owns a career-best time of 28:58 for the 8K.
The roster is aided by an influx of runners who will be competing not only for the Point Park cross country team but also for the Pioneers' brand-new track and field program. Track and field head coach Kelly Parsley had a big recruiting hand in the added cross country talent, and the Pioneers are stronger than ever.
Cross country newcomers are led by freshman Eric Torres, a Robstown, Texas, native who finished in the top 10 in the state of Texas meet two times. A regional champion, Torres posted a personal-record time of 14:56 in the 5K in high school but like all freshman will have to adjust to the 8K distance for college men.
Paul McCloud is a freshman from Orlando, Fla., who went to high school in Greensboro, N.C. A state champion in the 800 meters and the 4x800 in track and field, McCloud is also strong in cross country.
Heath Hougas is a transfer from St. Norbert College and a Morris, Ill., native. He is a sophomore for the 2014 season, and his best performance as a freshman in college was 27:05 in the 8K.
District 9 champion Chris Hunt from Kane, Pa., and Kane High School joins the Pioneers this year a freshman, and he ran a personal-record of 16:26 in the 5K in high school.
Freshman John Wiley, from Ijamesville, Md., was a part of a 4x800 state-championship team in high school track and field and also comes in with a PR of 17:11 in the 5K for cross country.
Other freshmen Gabe Florentino (Malboro, N.Y.) and Justin Illig (Canon-McMillan HS) come in with 5K PR times of 17:41 and 18:33, respectively, in high school. Marvin Walker (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is a freshman from Brashear High School who is running cross country for the first time.
For thoughts from head coach Jim Irvin on the 2014 season outlook, watch the video clip at the link above from the Pioneers' YouTube Channel. WATCH
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