Women's cross country wins eighth straight SUNYAC championship, men finish second

On Oct. 20, the cross country teams traveled to SUNY Potsdam to face the best of the SUNYAC conference in the league championship meet. This was the first time the meet has ever been hosted by Potsdam.

The women's team blew the competition away, scoring 20 points on the way to their eighth consecutive women's title. Running as a pack, they dominated overall, placing seven runners in the top ten. The closest competitor was SUNY Cortland, finishing with 44 points, followed by SUNY Plattsburgh, who had been expected to compete heavily for the title.

"We were rather disappointed because three out of their top five runners didn't race this weekend," Coach Mike Woods said. "They've never run those girls against us and we wanted to compete against the best, but unfortunately their coach held them out."

Junior Liz Montgomery was the women's individual champion for the second time in her career. She crossed with a time of 21:54 over a rough 6-kilometer course. Woods described the course as "brutal" due to heavy rain the day before and a strong wind during the race. Senior Meghan Nolan finished in second place with a time of 22:20. Junior Laura Iafrati was fourth in 23:16.

The next four Geneseo runners finished as a group, taking sixth to ninth place. Senior Emily Hurley was the first of the bunch, finishing in 23:31, followed by classmate Taryn Hand in 23:32. Sophomores Danni Hunt and Sandra Goettelman crossed with times of 23:34 and 23:35, respectively. The Knights garnered other honors at the meet as Woods was named SUNYAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his career. On top of that, Iafrati and Hand were inducted in the SUNYAC Cross Country Hall of Fame.

The men's team was unable to match the success of the women, as they finished in second place behind defending champion Cortland. According to Woods, Cortland went out very fast at the start of the race and only one Geneseo runner made the attempt to stay with them. Due to the strong wind in the last mile of the race it was nearly impossible to catch them at the end, Woods said.

The Knights were led by junior Nate Lockett, who finished the 8-kilometer race in fifth place overall with a time of 25:52. Next for Geneseo was junior Brett Dolan, who crossed in sixth place with a time of 26:00 and was closely followed by senior Ryan Mulcahy in seventh (26:02). Freshman Tom Reubens was the top overall freshman runner, finishing in ninth place with a time of 26:15. Fellow freshman Ryan O'Connor rounded out the scoring five in 14th place with a time of 26:35. Junior Will Haskell and sophomore Jesse Berube completed the top seven in 15th with a time of 26:40 and 16th in 26:51, respectively.

Next weekend the squads travel to Saratoga for the New York State Collegiate Track Conference race. This race showcases 16 teams made up of the SUNYAC conference and private schools across the state. Geneseo looks to continue its dominance of the race, having won four years in a row. Their main competitors should be Ithaca for the women's team and St. Lawrence for the men.