Team photo at USCAA Championships banquet.
Nov. 6th & 7th,
Capstone to a Great Cross Country Season
This past weekend, runners from Penn State DuBois competed at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Cross Country National Championships. Representing the DuBois Nittany Lions were Juliann Boddorf, Tamera Anthony, Heidi Rodgers, Matthew Burke and Charles Miller. It was a tough race for the Lions as they ran in the frigid air of Syracuse, New York and against the toughest schools in the country for their division. Some of the schools they competed against were SUNY-ESF, Dine College, Paul Smith's, Illinois Tech, Florida College, Navajo Tech, and New Hampshire Technical Institute. Among the diverse field of teams, there were some familiar faces to Penn State DuBois' own conference in the PSUAC, including Penn State Greater Allegheny, Penn State Wilkes-barre, Penn State Brandywine and Penn State Worthington Scranton.
The women's 6k race had a total of 178 competitors. Penn State DuBois placed one runner, Juliann Boddorf, in the top 17% at 31st place. This is the best national performance by a Penn State DuBois runner in school history. Not to mention, Boddorf also beat the PSUAC conference champion and runner-up, whom she had previously placed third against in their conference championships only weeks before the national race. Finishing out the Women's team was sophomore Heidi Rodgers who placed 131 and Tamera Anthony at 141.
"I couldn't be more proud of our ladies. Julie has been closing the gap between her and Rachel Ramsey (PSUAC top runner) since they first met in September. I knew from the moment that I first saw Julie run, that she would be capable of great things in our conference and we had every confidence that she would eventually make it to the top. In regards to our other ladies, they are two of the strongest supporting cast members that we could ask for. At this rate, A PSUAC title is within our grasp next year," said Head Coach of the Lady Lions, Kyle Gordon.
Boddorf and Anthony will both be returning to the team next year.
On the men's side, we saw a very impressive conclusion to the running careers of two exceptional athletes. Out of a pack of almost 200 runners, Matthew Burke placed 124th and Charles Miller placed 182nd. At the Championship Banquet, on the night prior to the race, Charles Miller received the honor of making the USCAA Academic All-American Team. Recipients of this honor must be above freshman status and carry a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Miller displays an impressive 3.96 GPA.
"We've had a lot of success with a small team this year. From All-Conference Honors to Invitational and Conference medalists, this team has certainly created momentum for the future success of the program. Of all the honors received by our runners, the Academic All-American honor is really special. We're really proud of Miller. What a great way to end the season," said Coach Gordon.
Neither Mathew Burke nor Charles Miller will be returning to the Nittany Lions next year; both athletes are relocating to Penn State University Park to finish their academic plans.