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Senior runner qualifies for National Championship Meet

by Zach Wagner - Copy Editor
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 09:00 pm
Senior Sean Kuehn looks to pass a runner from SUNY Geneseo at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Meet. Kuehn came in 13th place, which was good enough to qualify for the NCAA National Meet. No other Golden Eagle qualified.
Senior Sean Kuehn looks to pass a runner from SUNY Geneseo at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Meet. Kuehn came in 13th place, which was good enough to qualify for the NCAA National Meet. No other Golden Eagle qualified.

The College at Brockport men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled north to St. Lawrence University this past weekend to participate in the NCAA Atlantic Regionals. With a chance to advance to the NCAA National Meet on the line, both teams set out to run a good race and try to make some noise.

The men have been running impressively all season, gaining a lot of strong finishes behind senior front runner Sean Kuehn. They were able to grab an 11th place overall in a pack of 42 teams, but it wasn’t enough to punch a ticket to nationals.

“I thought the men raced really hard today,” said head coach John Davis. “Conditions were super tough and our region is by far one of the toughest to qualify for nationals out of, but they went for it.”

Despite coming up short as a whole, Kuehn was able to continue his career season, snagging a 13th place finish out of a field of 300 runners with a time of 25:40.4 for the eight-kilometer run. Davis is pleased with the way Kuehn has performed this year, claiming he is the hardest worker he has ever coach. Kuehn will be the only athlete from both sides that will be moving onto the National Meet on Saturday, Nov. 23 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Sean qualifying for nationals is incredibly exciting for the program,” Davis said. “He is by far the hardest working person I have ever coached. He’s very in tune with his body in training, has incredible instincts when it comes to racing and had lead our team all season long through his hard work and his incredible character.” 

For the rest of the men’s team, things didn’t quite pan out the way the team might have wanted it to. Senior Gerard Connelly was the second runner to cross the finish for the green and gold, taking 43rd place. Junior Marius Sidlauskas and sophomore Humberto Wallace Jr. stayed close to one another, taking 73rd and 76th place, respectively.

“The meet was really cold,” Kuehn said. “The course froze over which made some parts of the course better and some parts of the course worse. The men’s team came in 11th, which wasn’t what we wanted but we are really happy with the work everyone put in for this race and for the entire season.”

For the women’s team, the Golden Eagles fought hard but weren’t able to qualify for a spot in Kentucky. Junior Abbygail Clouden lead the way for the women as she has for the majority of the 2019 campaign. Clouden was able to grab a 69th place finish out of 274 athletes, running a time of 24:21.1 for the six-kilometer run. Freshman Sarah Davis and junior Sarah Tingley stayed tight together, finishing 111th and 113th, respectively.

“I think this past race we all gave a great effort in our last race of the season,” Clouden said. “We were hoping for a higher place finish as a team but we gave it everything we had. The conditions were tough, it was hard to breathe because it was cold.”

As the season comes to an end for most of the athletes, the Golden Eagles have something to celebrate after putting up such a fantastic season. The men’s side went out every week with a chance to win a majority of the races it competed in throughout the season. On the women’s side, the runners put up a solid fight week in and week out, showing there is a young core of talent that should be able to be relied on for the next few years. As nationals closely approach, Kuehn prepares for arguably the biggest contest of his career. Just like every other outing, Kuehn is expected to be prepared and focused on giving the best performance possible.

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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