Cross-country sweeps SUNYAC championships

Terrible weather conditions couldn’t stop Geneseo men’s and women’s cross-country teams from running away with two SUNYAC championship titles on Saturday Oct. 27.

According to head coach Mike Woods “the conditions were as bad you can get” with rain, mud and ankle-high standing water.

“We all said to them, ‘Today’s not about time; it’s all about place,’” Woods said.

Senior Alex Brimstein competed in his first SUNYAC championship and led the Knights by claiming the individual title. He crossed the finish line in 26 minutes, 25.08 seconds.

Seniors Chris Mateer and Tom Clark finished second and third, respectively, within seven seconds of Brimstein. Sophomore Ryan Moynihan closely followed, finishing in 26:38.75.

Senior Tim Chambers filled the scoring five runners, placing ninth. Woods said this race was the best of Chambers’ career. This was the first time in four years Chambers finished with the scoring group.

On the women’s side, sophomore Cassie Goodman ran to a fourth-place finish to help the Knights battle SUNY Plattsburgh. Before SUNYACs, Woods said Plattsburgh could be a close competitor, but in the competition, the Cardinals weren’t even a contender. The Knights compiled 45 points – nearly half of Plattsburgh’s 84.

“They really stuck it to Plattsburgh and the rest of the [SUNY schools], and proved that they are a team to be afraid of in the Atlantic region,” assistant coach Dan Moore ’06 said.

A pack of Geneseo runners followed Goodman, including freshman Ashton Hughes (eighth overall, 24:09.57), senior Brigid Heenan (10th, 24:11.43), senior Cailin Kowalewski (11th, 24:11.74) and junior Bekah Steinke (12th, 24:15.49).

The 2012 titles mark the women’s 12th conference title in the last 13 seasons and the men’s fourth consecutive and 12th overall. In addition to tallying championship titles, four runners entered the SUNYAC Cross-Country Halls of Fame.

Brimstein, Mateer, Moynihan and Goodman earned a spot in the hall by finishing in the top five of their respective races. The hall also accepts runners who finish within the top 10 twice or in the top 15 three times.

Despite the miserable weather, the Knights were well supported.

“If we didn’t have one fan there, I would’ve understood because [the conditions were] terrible,” Woods said. This wasn’t the case, though, as numerous fans, including Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Mike Mooney, attended the meet at Lake Erie State Park.

“I think they fired up our [runners],” Woods said.

The Knights have one week of rest before traveling to the University of Rochester for the NCAA Atlantic Regionals on Nov. 10.

Different from SUNYACs, which allowed 10 runners, regionals only list seven runners and one alternate for both the men’s and women’s rosters.

“Because both of our teams are so good, we have some difficult decisions to make,” Woods said.

Editor’s Note:

SUNYAC coaches named Woods as men’s and women’s cross-country Coach of the Year.

Woods led the Knights to 23 SUNYAC cross-country titles in his 21 years as Geneseo’s head coach.

This is Woods’ 10th overall and fourth consecutive SUNYAC honor.