On Sept. 27, the men's cross-country team scored a huge victory as they defeated their archrival SUNY Cortland at the St. Lawrence University Invitational in Canton, New York.
The Knights, ranked 16th in the nation, beat Cortland, previously number one ranked in the country in Division III, by only three points in the 8k race. The final score was 64-67. In addition to Geneseo and Cortland, 14 of the top teams in the region competed.
While Hamilton College's Peter Kosgei, a Kenyan native, won the meet in a time of 25:02, Geneseo came out strong.
Junior Tim Chichester was the first Geneseo runner to finish the race, crossing the line in seventh place with a time of 25:37. Junior Jesse Berube finished in 10th place overall with a time of 26:00. Sophomore Tom Reubens was 14th, finishing in 26:14, followed closely by freshman Chris Mateer in 15th place with a time of 26:17. Junior Josh Kneer rounded out the top five for Geneseo by finishing in 26:22, putting him in 18th overall - a performance coach Mike Woods deemed Kneer's best with Geneseo yet.
"I was really happy with their performance," said Woods. "Both men and women stepped up big-time on Saturday. We were missing three of our best runners on the men's side and one on the women's side so the other runners took up the slack."
Woods brought only the top runners for both squads to St. Lawrence, which served as the Atlantic Pre-Regional meet, while other members of the team raced at Roberts Wesleyan College.
The women's team, ranked fifth in the nation, had just as much success as the men's team as they outran second place SUNY Cortland by a team score of 60-76.
The Knights were led by senior Laura Iafrati who came in ninth place out of 189 runners with a time of 22:35 in the 6k course. The rest of the scoring runners ran in a tight pack. Freshman Alyssa Smith came in at 13th in 22:55, junior Danielle Hunt placed 14th in 22:56 and senior Lisa Halloran crossed the finish line in 15th place in 23:02. Junior Erin Marks completed a balanced scoring for the Knights with a 19th place finish in 23:22.
Woods said he felt that beating Cortland was a significant victory for the event.
"I was thinking that if [Cortland] ran their full team, second place would be good for us," said Woods. "As it turned out, they did not run two runners so we were both in the same boat and we had a little more depth on that day than they did."
Up next for both the men and women is the 28th Annual Geneseo Invitational at Letchworth State Park on Oct. 4 at 11 a.m.