Cross-country samples Division I competition

Geneseo’s top runners participated in the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Saturday Sept. 8 at Pennsylvania State University. Although faced with only Division I competitors, the Knights posted notable times.

On the women’s side, sophomore Cassie Goodman led the way for Geneseo, placing eighth. Goodman ran the six kilometers in 22 minutes, 33 seconds for 29th place. Seniors Danae Polsin and Cailin Kowalewski, junior Bekah Steinke and senior Emily Sullivan followed Goodman to complete the scoring group.

Senior Alex Brimstein highlighted the men’s side with a 19th-place finish to help Geneseo earn sixth place behind Princeton University, Georgetown University, Penn State, U.S. Naval Academy and Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania.

Brimstein completed the 8.4-kilometer course in 26:42. At the beginning, Brimstein and senior classmates Thomas Clark and Chris Mateer led the competition.

“The first mile of the race is downhill, which makes it pretty easy to go out fast,” Clark said. “All the big name schools in the race might have recognized this and went out fairly conservative. When [Mateer], [Brimstein] and I found ourselves in the lead in the first half mile, we decided to roll with it.” Clark finished in 26:52 for 27th place.

Sophomore Ryan Moynihan (27:07), Chris Mateer (27:32) and freshman Brendan Wortner (27:35) rounded out the five scoring runners. Brendan Wortner finished side-by-side with his older brother, junior Patrick Wortner.

“We’re basically more or less at the same level,” Patrick Wortner said. He later said, however, that his brother is better at the shorter distances, such as the mile and 800-meter, while he enjoys the longer runs.

The Wortners are just one pair of brothers that have graced the men’s cross-country team. This year, the team also includes Chris Mateer and his younger brother, sophomore Tim Mateer. In past seasons, other pairs included Ryan O’Connor ‘11 and sophomore Kevin O’Connor, as well as Jesse Berube ‘10 and his younger brother, Lee Berube, who graduated in May 2012 as the top runner in Geneseo history.

The Wortners began running together when Patrick Wortner was a freshman in high school and Brendan Wortner was a seventh grader.

“At first, we had a bit of a sibling rivalry between us, [but] who doesn’t have that?” Brendan Wortner said in an email.

Now, though, both Wortners said that they are excited to have each other as teammates.

“I’m actually glad that [Brendan Wortner] chose here, because he’s a valuable asset to our program,” Patrick Wortner said.

“It’s very helpful to have Pat on the team with me … In fact, being able to train with my brother was one of the deciding factors that led to my coming to Geneseo,” Brendan Wortner said.

The Knights will participate in the University of Rochester YellowJacket Invitational on Saturday Sept. 15 at Genesee Valley Park.