Cross-country sweeps Geneseo invite

After a week off, the Geneseo cross-country teams returned to action on Saturday with a sweep of the Geneseo Invitational, which they hosted at Letchworth State Park in Mount Morris.

The men and women's teams, ranked first and second respectively in the latest Atlantic Region poll, blew away the competition. Both teams took first place in both the individual and team competitions. Junior Lee Berube and sophomore Marissa Liberati won the men and women's individual titles, respectively.

The women took first with 22 points overall, while SUNY Brockport placed a distant second with 73 points. The men ended up beating a very impressive Geneseo Alumni team with 32 points overall.

"That alumni team is loaded," said head coach Mike Woods of his former players. "Our alumni team could probably beat any of the teams in the Atlantic Region right now. They're that good."

Overall, the Geneseo Invitational was a tremendous success that allowed both squads to flex their muscles. "It was a very successful weekend. The meet ran well and both teams stepped up to win," Woods said.

Berube and Liberati, both recognized as athletes of the week, stole the show as they cruised to overwhelming victories. Berube, who entered into the four-mile marker 14 seconds behind the lead, went on to win the race by almost five seconds with a time of 25 minutes, 12 seconds.

"[Berube] has a gear that a lot of guys just don't have," Woods said. "He used it in the last 1000 meters and I was glad to see that he did."

Liberati was equally impressive, beating Houghton College junior Danielle Brenon by almost 15 seconds. Brenon had overmatched Liberati in their first meeting last year when she went on to win by over 40 seconds.

"That's a feather in Marissa's cap," Woods said. "She was outstanding and it shows just how much she's improved. If she stays healthy and avoids injuries she is going to be right up in there at the NCAA [tournament], no question. She's running that way right now."

Looking ahead, the Knights will have another chance to rest; their next meet isn't until Oct. 16 against the University of Rochester. Coach Woods said he doesn't plan on running any of his top athletes so that they will be better prepared for a championship run.

"We haven't had the whole group feeling good for a race yet," Woods said. "If we can just find a week where we're all on the same page and all feel good about our preparation we're going to really amaze people."