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Men's and women's cross country display potential at first meet

by campustalkeditor
Tue, Sep 18th 2018 10:45 pm
Brockport men's A-team ran as a pack, surrounded by opposing runners from 15 other teams at the University of Rochester meet.  The women's team finished in fifth place and the men's team finished third on the day. The next meet is at Roberts Wesleyan College on Saturday, Sept 22.
Brockport men's A-team ran as a pack, surrounded by opposing runners from 15 other teams at the University of Rochester meet. The women's team finished in fifth place and the men's team finished third on the day. The next meet is at Roberts Wesleyan College on Saturday, Sept 22.

This past Saturday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the first invitational for The College at Brockport this year. 

The University of Rochester hosted 15 teams who also began their individual seasons at the event. Brockport did have pre-SUNYAC meet at Fredonia ealier this year, but was chiefly used as an introduction back to the season.

Head coach and director of both men’s and women’s cross country squads, Danielle Novara, has been preparing the separate groups for the Rochester invitational since the semester started back in August. 

“Our first race at Fredonia was really just an opportunity for part of the team to open up its season and bust some rust after the summer,” Novara said. 

“We only raced our B-teams on either side, so our A-team opened up at U of R for its first competition of the year. We have just been focusing on adjusting back into the daily grind of classes, practice and being back on campus. Everyone is very healthy right now, which is great!”

When Saturday, 10 a.m rolled around, the sun was out and the heat was just beginning to bare down on the runners. 

Despite the heat making for brutal running conditions, the Golden Eagles’ front squads did not disappoint at the season opener. 

Brockport had two top ten finishers, one from the men’s squad and one from the women’s. Junior captian, Sean Kuehn, undeniably had the best day for the Green and Gold, finishing second overall in the men’s 8k. His final time at 26:41.1 was only six seconds behind Rochester’s Hunter Finney, who won the race. Freshman, Humberto Wallace, and sophomore, Sharif Jarvis, finished 14th and 15th, while sophomore, Marius Sidlauskas, finished six seconds behind them to claim a spot in the top 20.  

For the women’s group, junior, Allison Miller, finished in sixth place and set a new personal 6k record for herself with a time of 23:28.0. The next Golden Eagle to find the finish line was senior, Krista Kicsak, who also logged a new personal record after placing 13th, with a time of 23:57.9. 

The high positioned runners grabbed fifth for the women’s team and third for the men. Brockport’s strong start is only the beginning of what it can accomplish this year. Both of the men’s and women’s teams have reliable returners who will benefit the team not only with their abilities, but experience as well. 

“The men are returning everyone in the top seven (scoring squad) from last year, so we are really excited about our potential,” Novara said. “The men’s team is the fan favorite to win SUNYACS this year, although it will be very difficult competition with other well ranked programs in the SUNYAC such as Geneseo, Oneonta and Oswego. However, we have worked really hard leading up to this the past three years to revamp the team culture, recruit some really hard working athletes, and focus in on what our clear objective is. To win championships.” 

For the women’s team, the young squad has lower expectations compared to the seasoned men’s group. However, the team can hold its own when matching up against other SUNYAC schools.

“The women’s team is looking to place in the top three in the SUNYAC race,” Novara said. “Geneseo is heads and shoulders above the rest of the SUNYAC competition, but the race for second and third is really between as many as four different teams. The women all had amazing summers of training and conditioning and are really looking better than ever.” 

Cross country, yet very individualistic in performance, is still largely a team effort. Ellie Pauly, a junior on the women’s team, can speak for the potential the team has this year. The end goal, however, is to maximize the runners’ potential and claim a SUNYAC championship.

“Everyone has big goals and is willing to put in the effort necessary to achieve them,” Pauly said. “I know that as the season progresses, our team will only get stronger.”

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