Friday Knight 5K makes strides in second year

On Sept. 26, Geneseo's track and field and cross-country teams hosted the second annual Friday Knight 5k Race/Walk.

The event, held in conjunction with Homecoming 2008, was organized to raise money for the teams while allowing the community to come together. Proceeds from the event will go toward supplementing funds for meets that require overnight stays due to their distance from Geneseo. The race was directed last year by Karen Merrill.

"We're all one big family," said Jen Pieper, a sophomore on the team. "This is a great opportunity for the track and cross- country teams to get together and do something."

The event was reportedly much larger than last year and although the skies were cloudy, the weather cooperated and it did not rain.

"I'm excited to come out despite the weather," said freshman Toby Ring. "It's a fun run."

The race began at 5:30 p.m. and about 400 runners gathered under the tent set up in Dody Field before starting. Though the majority of participants were students and alumni, many runners were from town.

Senior Dan McConvey, who was running for his second year, noted that the race was bigger this year than it was last year. "It's cool that there are so many adults and people from the town," he said.

The race's organizers issued a welcome statement and introduction of renowned marathon runner Bill Rodgers, who spoke in the Union Ballroom the night prior to the race and participated on Friday.

At the sound of an air horn, the race began with shouts of encouragement and laughter from supporters. Participants made their way through the town and campus, finishing at the tent in the village park.

The cross-country and track and field teams also hosted Chaivetta's Chicken Barbecue from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Many participants from various organizations came out to support the cross-country and track and field teams, while many others were alumni who had come back to visit and join in the festivities during homecoming weekend.

"Karen Merrill started a great tradition," said Sal Farruggia, a 2008 graduate of the track team.