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Cross country uses first meet as a stepping stone

by Sarah Killip - Staff Photographer
Tue, Sep 10th 2019 11:00 pm
The men's and women's cross country teams took part in the Hamilton Short Course Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7. The men's team finished in last out of 10 teams. The women's team placed fourth out of the same 10 teams. Brockport's men's team withheld its top eight runners from the competition, while the women's team used its full arsenal of runners. Each team will have a chance to improve on its performance in a meet at the University of Rochester on Saturday, Sept. 14.
The men's and women's cross country teams took part in the Hamilton Short Course Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7. The men's team finished in last out of 10 teams. The women's team placed fourth out of the same 10 teams. Brockport's men's team withheld its top eight runners from the competition, while the women's team used its full arsenal of runners. Each team will have a chance to improve on its performance in a meet at the University of Rochester on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Finishing its 2018 season with top notch performances at SUNYAC and NCAA Regional competitions, The College at Brockport women’s and men’s cross country teams brought powerful strides to this season’s opener at the Hamilton Short Course Invitational.

Last year’s SUNYAC Tournament brought a 4th place finish for the women and a 3rd place finish for the men, leaving both teams full of ambition as they set the standards high for this year’s season.

The Hamilton Invitational took place on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 11:30 a.m. Other teams racing included Roberts Wesleyan, Ithaca, Hamilton, Cortland, Le Moyne, Nazareth, Oneonta, Utica and St. John Fisher.

Leading the Golden Eagles across the finish line for the women’s 4k were junior Abbygail Clouden and freshman Sarah Davis. Clouden clocked a time of 16:08.6, placing 17th, and Davis finished at 16:09.2 in 18th place. Juniors Katherine Adams and Sarah Tingley filled the other two of Brockport’s top four spots, placing 41st and 50th, respectively. Earning 157 points, the women’s team placed fourth overall.

The men’s team gathered 221 points at the invitational, landing them in 10th place at the end of the day. Senior Alex Burg led the way for the Golden Eagles in the 5k with a time of 16:29.5, placing him in 34th. Sophomore Daniel Heil followed suit, placing 38th with a time of 16:34. Juniors Cody Mooney and Gavin Vlainich finished third and fourth for the men’s team, placing 67th and 68th overall.

The first meet was a good time for the runners to get their strategies down and to learn to work as a team. Adams feels this way and thinks that both the men’s and women’s teams took advantage of the opportunity.

“The first meet was a great opportunity for everyone to see what shape they’re in at the beginning of the season and to get one more experience of racing under our belts,” Adams said. “The men’s team held out their top eight runners, but the guys who raced took advantage of getting that experience. The women’s team raced a full squad, which allowed us to get that racing experience I mentioned, and to see how we should be packing up together in races. It was a short course, so on both sides I think it set us up nicely for a full length race at [the University of Rochester] next weekend.”

Cross country head coach John Davis is beginning his first year as head coach at Brockport. He came to Brockport with a wealth of knowledge and hopes to continue to add to the strength of the team culture. Davis noted that there are many hard working individuals on both teams, but a few to keep an eye out for are senior captains John Boyzok, Sean Kuehn, Gerard Connelly and junior captain Marius Sidlauskas for the men. Seniors Holly Heil and Sydney Steger, Clouden, Adams and Davis will be strong on the women’s side. All of these athletes are all stellar examples and role models for their teammates.

The women’s team is hoping “to improve their regional ranking and compete for a top six or seven spot within the Atlantic Region,” Davis said. The men are currently ranked 30th in the country and aim to qualify for nationals as a team and place in the top 20. Both teams are striving to finish as high as they can in the SUNYAC competition and believe they have a good chance at challenging rival Geneseo and finishing in the top three.

“We have outstanding young men and women in this program,” Davis said. “They wake up every day excited to compete and to work toward being their best. They dream big and work hard every day to make those dreams reality. It’s an honor to get to be their coach and to guide them in their athletic and academic pursuits here at The College at Brockport.”

The Golden Eagles will compete again next weekend on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. at the University of Rochester. Following that, both the men’s and women’s teams have five more competitions before the SUNYAC Tournament, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. in New Paltz, NY.

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