Cross-country teams sweep SUNYAC championships

This past Saturday was a record-setting day for the Geneseo cross-country teams as both the men and women swept the SUNYAC championships and garnered numerous awards along the way.

The women's team won their 10th consecutive championship, beating out host Cortland, 34 points to 66 points. Head coach Mike Woods said he commended both teams for their effort, calling it "a great weekend."

The women's team, ranked ninth in the country, ran a solid team race, placing eight runners in the top 13. Senior Sandra Goettelman was the individual winner, as she broke the tape in 22 minutes, 55 seconds over a six-kilometer course to beat out the presumed favorite, Jenny Schaffhouser of Plattsburgh.

"Sandra has been getting better and better every week," Woods said.

Goettelman was followed by freshman Brigid Heenan who finished sixth overall in 23:40. Both women received first team All-SUNYAC honors for their performance and Goettelman was inducted in to the SUNYAC Cross-Country Hall of Fame.

Geneseo later swept the eighth to 12th overall finishes. Graduate student Liz Montgomery was the next Geneseo harrier to reach the finish line. Freshman Emily Sullivan and sophomore Alyssa Smith were the ninth and 10th overall finishers as they completed the race in 24:11 and 24:17, respectively. Graduate student Maggie Morris and freshman Marissa Liberati were the final two scoring runners for the Knights, as both finished in 24:18 for 11th and 12th overall.

The men's team, ranked fourth in the nation, also won out over Cortland, which, prior to the race, was ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Sophomore Lee Berube won the individual title on an eight-kilometer course in 25:12. It was the fifth time that a Geneseo runner won the men's individual title. Lee was one of just three top-10 finishers for the Knights, as seniors Tim Chichester and Bobby Henchen finished third and fifth overall in 25:30 and 25:50.

Fellow senior Jesse Berube was another top-10 finisher, as he placed ninth in 26:08. Junior Ryan O'Connor was close behind in 11th with a time of 26:13 and sophomore Nick Pardee was 14th in 26:22.

Woods also received several awards of his own to go along with his teams' accomplishments. He was honored as the SUNYAC Men's Cross-Country Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his career. He also was award the SUNYAC Women's Cross-Country Coach of the Year for the eighth consecutive year, giving him nine in his career.

"It's nice to be recognized by your colleagues but for me it's about preparing the athletes," Woods said. "When they run well, that's a real reward to me."

The Knights move on as they host the NCAA Atlantic Regional meet on Nov. 14 at Letchworth State Park. The women's race begins at 11 a.m. and the men's race follows at 12 p.m. Woods said that despite the large meet, which will feature all of the Division III teams from New York and New Jersey, both teams are prepared to shoulder the pressure.