Knights race to second place at Atlantic Regionals

Senior Alex Brimstein won the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regionals individual title on Nov. 10 as both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams clinched second-place finishes at Genesee Valley Park.

Brimstein finished in 25 minutes, 14.4 seconds, roughly two seconds ahead of second place senior Dylan Karten of New York University.

Brimstein extends Geneseo’s success at regionals by earning the third consecutive individual title for the college following Lee Berube ‘12 with two regional titles in 2010 and 2011. Brimstein’s achievement is also the fifth individual title in the past nine years for Geneseo.

“Nobody had a better season in the Atlantic region than [Brimstein],” head coach Mike Woods said. “He is primed and ready to go after [a national title] and I know he will.”

Woods described Brimstein as a “very cerebral runner,” yet physically strong, too, as Woods doubts that Brimstein used his other gear among the regional competition.

Classmates Chris Mateer and Tom Clark followed Brimstein, completing the course 25:36.7 and 25:37.8, respectively.

Senior Chris Moore and sophomore Ryan Moynihan rounded out the five scoring Geneseo runners.

Despite Brimstein’s effort, the Knights couldn’t hold off NYU, who finished first with 50 points, nine fewer than Geneseo.

Senior Cailin Kowalewski led the women’s side, finishing 16th with a time of 22:32.7. Kowalewski “had her best race of the season,” Woods said. “She beat people that she hadn’t beaten before.”

Sophomore Cassie Goodman and senior Mary Aldridge tailed Kowalewski, placing 20th and 31st, respectively. Senior Brigid Heenan, junior Rebekah Steinke and sophomore Alyssa Knott formed a strong pack, finishing within a second of each other.

Despite second-place finishes, Woods said that he didn’t think either team ran its best and described the runners’ performances as “flat.” At the 2011 regionals, however, the Knights ran similarly, yet stepped up for nationals for a fourth-place finish.

According to Woods, the key to running well at nationals is peaking at the right time.

“If [the men] run to their capabilities, I don’t care what the polls say, I think the guys have a shot at winning the whole thing, but they’ve got to have a perfect race,” he said.

For the women’s side, a top 10 team finish would be a “heck of a goal for them in this point and time,” Woods said.

The Knights hit the road for the NCAA Division III Championship on Nov. 17 at the LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

“It’s a lot of excitement,” Brimstein said. “I’m looking forward to going and just racing and see how we can do as a team because I know we can all do well, so it’s just a matter of doing it.”

Woods echoed that sentiment by telling the teams, “‘The hay’s in the barn,’ meaning they’ve done the work and everything’s set and ready to go. You have to just believe in your training, believe in yourself and good things will happen.”