EASTON, Pa. – Junior Michael McGowan led the charge on Saturday afternoon, helping the Bucknell men’s cross country team to a sixth place finish  at the 2013 Patriot League Championships, hosted by Lafayette at the school’s Metzgar Athletic Complex. Navy used its depth to win its fifth conference championship in six years, and Lehigh’s Tyler Mueller captured the individual title on the men’s side, turning in a time of 24:22.03.

“McGowan ran a super race to finish fifth,” said head coach Kevin Donner, “however we had too big of a gap between him and our other scoring runners to make an impact in the team standings. Strauss ran a nice race as well.”

The Mids scored 61 points to earn the team title, while Lehigh and American rounded out the top three with 63 and 66 points, respectively.  Army (4th – 72 points), Boston University (5th – 112 points), Bucknell (6th – 143 points), Holy Cross (7th – 230 points), Colgate (8th – 249 points), Loyola (9th – 279 points) and Lafayette (10th – 283 points) rounded out the scoring in this year’s race.

McGowan blazed through the 8K race to take fifth, crossing the finish line in a time of 25:22.20, a performance that earned him first-team All-Patriot League honors. Senior David Strauss was the next Bison to place, turning in a time of 26:22.01, good for the 31st spot.

Junior Andrew Garcia-Garrison (26:34.38) and sophomore Harrison Brakewood (26:38.68) finished just seconds apart to take 36th and 37th respectively, and senior Eric Balaban (26:43.76) crossed the finish line just behind them, placing 41st.

Freshman Luke Giugliano finished in a time of 26:54.84 to grab the 47th spot, and junior Glen Williams rounded out Bucknell’s scorers, taking 52nd with a 27:07.20 performance.

“Injuries really affected our season,” added Donner. “The loss of our leader, John Dugan, was tough to overcome and Glen Williams never fully recovered from his hamstring injury.  This did give some others an opportunity to get scoring experience however, and that will help us next year.”

Bucknell will continue its post-season in two weeks with the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships. The competition, which will be held at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., is slated for Friday, Nov. 16.