On Saturday, Rowan University’s Women’s Cross Country took on ten teams from around the tri-state area, but both men and woman ran for a much bigger cause than what they’re used to. This race was in honor of Bill Fritz, a former Rowan Cross Country and Track and Field Coach who passed away May of 2015.
Although Fritz was the head coach of the Men’s Cross Country team, the Women’s Cross Country team was also affected by the impact he made on the program at the University. Fritz coached for 43 years and was also a Health and Exercise Science Professor at Rowan.
“It was such an honor. It was touching that they dedicated the entire meet to him. He was such a big influence on the men and women’s teams for so many years. It was awesome that many alumni came to show their support,” said Rowan senior Lisa Leszcynski.
“He was always smiling,” commented former Cross Country Captain and Rowan Alumni, Grace Kaler. “His office was one of the first offices in the building, and whether it be man or woman on the team, at any time, on any day you would be able to come in and chit chat about running, life and everything in between.”
Out of the ten teams, Rowan took first overall on the 6k course at Rowan College at Gloucester County. Rowan’s score of 30 points triumphed over the closest score of 75 points, which Philadelphia University achieved.
“Given the heat, we all did great. All the girls ran in packs and worked together which helped us get our season’s best times, “ said Leszcynski.
Christin Bettis, Rowan senior and captain, was the individual champion of the race with a time of 23:18:32.
“Last week she [Bettis] was disappointed with her performance because she was not able to do her best because of the heat and unfortunately couldn’t finish the race… Her determination is inspiration to the whole team,” conveyed Leszcynski.
“The results gave us girls the confidence we need for the harder meets to come,” said Leszcynski.
Next up, Rowan’s Women’s Cross Country will be heading to New York on October 3rd for the Mike Woods Invitational.
1. Rowan – 30
2. Philadelphia University – 75
3. Georgian Court – 93
4. Bryn Mawr – 95
5. Chestnut Hill – 111
6. Montclair State – 172
7. USMMA – 191
8. Rowan College at Gloucester County – 194
9. Holy Family – 238
10. Rutgers-Newark – 286