EASTON, Pa. – The Bucknell men’s cross country team earned a third place finish in the Leopard Invitational on Saturday morning, running a united race and taking advantage of every opportunity to learn Lafayette’s cross country course, the site of this year’s Patriot League Championships. The Bison outperformed three of their conference foes in the outing, using the race to strengthen every member of their squad and fine tune their speed for the upcoming end-of-season league competition.

"Our men were instructed to run a conservative race,” said head coach Kevin Donner. “McGowan and Garcia-Garrison held back quite a bit for four miles to try to keep our third, fourth, fifth and sixth runners together and give them confidence for two weeks from now. We got exactly what we wanted out of today and we learned the course. McGowan also ran a very fast last mile so he is ready to compete in two weeks."

American finished first in Saturday’s competition, held at the Metzgar Athletic Complex, finishing with 21 points. Cortland State took second place with 56 points, and Bucknell rounded out the top three with 90 points. Lehigh (4th – 132 points), Loyola (10th – 281 points) and Lafayette (11th – 310 points) also competed, and several other local programs rounded out the field of 12.

American’s Nicholas Regan won the five mile race, crossing the finish line in a time of 25:24.50 and leading an Eagle sweep of the top three places. Junior Michael McGowan was Bucknell’s top runner for the fourth time this season, crossing the line at 25:58.29 to take 10th place. Classmate Andrew Garcia-Garrison finished 14th with a time of 26:17.06, while sophomore Harrison Brakewood (22nd – 26:34.72), senior David Strauss (24th - 26:38.14) and freshman Luke Giugliano (25th - 26:38.85) rounded out the scoring for Bucknell.

The Bison will spend the next two weeks preparing for this year’s Patriot League Championships which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Lafayette. The race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.