Women's cross country win secures NCAA spot, men get at-large bid

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Geneseo's cross country squads traveled to Van Cortlandt Park in New York City to compete in the NCAA Atlantic Regional meet.

The women's team, ranked fourth in the nation, earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship by running to a first place tie with SUNY Plattsburgh.

Junior Liz Montgomery won the individual title with a time of 21:06 over the 6-kilometer course, which featured a total of 37 teams and 255 runners. Next for the Knights was senior Meghan Nolan, who finished in fourth place with a time of 21:48. The next finisher was senior Emily Hurley in 11th with a time of 22:23, followed by junior Laura Iafrati finishing 12th in 22:35 and sophomore Sandra Goettelman in 13th in 22:28.

Geneseo was the only team with five runners in the top 15 for the race, followed by SUNY Plattsburgh, which placed four of their runners in the top 15. The other runners who competed for Geneseo included sophomore Danni Hunt, who was 22nd in 22:46, and senior Taryn Hand, who claimed 29th in 22:56.

The men's team was unable to match the success of the women, finishing fourth overall with 126 points in the meet.

Coach Mike Woods had nothing but good things to say, however: "They peaked incredibly well and I can only tip my hat to them, six out of seven guys had personal bests, so I'm really happy with the race they ran."

Senior Ryan Mulcahy was the top finisher for the Knights, ranked 16th nationally, with a 17th place finish in 25:12 in a race featuring 39 teams and 272 runners. New York University, which hosted the meet, won the race with 37 points, SUNY Cortland came in second with 46 and The College of New Jersey placed third with 120.

Freshman Peter Kosgei, a Kenyan native from Hamilton College, was the individual winner, crossing in a time of 24:18. The next Geneseo finisher after Mulcahy was junior Nate Lockett, who passed through the chute in a time of 25:21, good enough for 19th overall. The rest of Geneseo's scoring five consisted of freshmen Ryan O'Connor and Tom Reubens, who were 27th in 25:33 and 31st in 25:37, respectively, and junior Brett Dolan, who was 32nd in 25:37.

Woods commented on the two freshmen runners, remarking that, "They might just be the two best freshmen runners I've ever had."

The rest of the competing Geneseo squad was made up of junior Will Haskell, who placed 34th in 25:40 and sophomore Jesse Berube, who was 47th in 26:05. Unlike the women's team, the men were not guaranteed a bid to the NCAA Championship meet, however, they received news that they had been given an at-large bid to the race by the championship selection committee.

Both the men's and women's squad will travel to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., on Saturday, Nov. 17, to compete against the best runners in Division III. Montgomery is one of the favorites to win the individual championship, according to Woods, and the women's team should compete for one of the top spots in the race along with Amherst, Washington University and Plattsburgh.