FROSTBURG, Md. -
It’s easy to understand why the Frostburg State men’s cross country team is favored to win this year’s Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title.
The Bobcats have won seven crowns in the league’s eight-year history, including the last four, and FSU boasts the past two AMCC Runners of the Year as well as perhaps the most talented squad in Head Coach Randy Lowe’s four seasons.
“We’re deeper than we’ve been in years,” said Lowe, who has been named the AMCC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year each of his seasons at the helm. “We have as many as 10 guys who could be our top five finishers at each meet.”
Lowe will look to his three team captains – senior Sid Bittinger (Midland, Md./Westmar), senior Ron Lipscomb (Avilton, Md./Northern Garrett) and junior Andy Watson (Gaithersburg, Md./Damascus) – to pace a deep and talented squad that also features the last two AMCC Runners of the Year in junior Ed May (Bryantown, Md./La Plata) and sophomore Curt Ruble (Mineral Wells, W.Va./Parkersburg South).
Bittinger earned his third straight All-AMCC honor last season after finishing a personal-best third (29:30) at the conference championship meet.
Lipscomb did not compete with the Bobcats last year but showed great ability in the two previous seasons, finishing seventh at the AMCC Championship Meet (29:29) as a freshman in 2002.
Watson was voted FSU’s team MVP last season. He earned All-AMCC honors after placing seventh (29:55) at the conference championship meet, and he also finished 55th (27:31) at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship Meet. He then went on to finish ninth in the 1,500-meter run (4:04.94) at the ECAC Indoor Championships but was hurt during the outdoor track season and will look to regain his top form.
May returns to the Bobcats after missing last season due to injury and looks to return to his form as one of the top runners in the conference. As a freshman, May was named the AMCC Newcomer of the Year after finishing third (28:41) at the conference championship meet. As a sophomore, he took home AMCC Runner of the Year honors after winning the league title (28:24). He also led FSU at the NCAA Mideast Regional Meet, placing 39th out of 249 runners with a time of 27:31 and missing All-Region honors by just four spots.
“Ed has a goal of going to nationals, and I think he can do it if he can stay healthy,” Lowe said.
Ruble, this year’s AMCC Preseason Runner of the Year, looks to build upon an impressive freshman season in which he ran a 28:42 to win the AMCC title. He was also FSU’s second-highest finisher at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship Meet, placing 51st in 27:28.
Lowe will look for his three freshmen to make an immediate impact in their debut seasons.
Marshal Lawrence (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) brings impressive prep credentials to Frostburg. He was a Class 4A all-state selection in both cross country and track during his high school career, and he won a Maryland 4A regional cross country title as a junior and the county cross country championship as a senior.
Brian Leiter (New Windsor, Md./Francis Scott Key) was a two-time all-county selection in cross country, and as a senior, he won the 2A state title in the 800-meter, placed second in the 1,600-meter and finished third in the 3,200-meter at the outdoor track and field championships.
Brandon Polcawich (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) is a state qualifier in cross country and just missed qualifying for states in outdoor track as a senior.
Lowe also has a solid experienced group in junior Andrew Parker (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) and sophomores Zachary Gaudette (Queenstown, Md./Kent Island), Rory Larson (Myersville, Md./Middletown) and Chris Mead (Woodbine, Md./Century).
“Our goals are to repeat as AMCC champions and to improve at regionals,” said Lowe, whose men’s squad made an impressive leap from 18th to ninth at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship Meet last season. ““We’ll be relying a lot on Ron and Ed as they return from a year off, and we have a few freshmen we may need to possibly rely on. The key is to keep everyone healthy.”
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303