The men’s and women’s cross-country teams closed their successful seasons with a disappointing showing at the NCAA Division III championship on Saturday Nov. 17.
The men finished 18th among 32 teams, while the women’s placed 26th.
According to head coach Mike Woods, however, this one race doesn’t define the season for the runners.
“It was a disappointing end to a great season,” Woods said. “I have to look at the overall picture, and it was a good, good season.”
“We finished a lot lower than we would’ve liked, and arguably should’ve even on an off day, but it was just a bad day across the board,” senior Alex Brimstein said, who earned an All-American honor with a 10th-place finish.
The Webster, N.Y. native finished the 8,000-meter course in 24 minutes, 46.7 seconds. Before the race, the United States Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association named Brimstein Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year. Brimstein’s makes 13 All-American titles for Geneseo.
A handful of seniors joined Brimstein in the last cross-country meet of their Geneseo careers, including Tom Clark, who finished 55th in 25:20.6, Tim Chambers, Chris Moore, Chris Mateer and Chris Carter. On the women’s side Cailin Kowalewski, Emily Sullivan and Brigid Heenan ran as graduating seniors.
The seniors “have nothing to hang their [heads] about,” Woods said. “They’ve had a very good career here,” he said, citing three SUNYAC championships and four trips to the NCAAs. “Not many seniors here can say that … I tell them, ‘You guys have been the face of our success for four years.’”
Other Atlantic Region teams experienced similar results, as the regional champion New York University placed behind the Knights and University of Rochester at nationals.
Brimstein said that although some runners are disappointed with the team finish at nationals, they’re channeling those emotions into redemption for the indoor and outdoor championships.
The Geneseo runners open the track and field season on Dec. 1 at the Cornell Relays.