If there is ever a time in the cross-country season to be gearing for the playoffs, a race with over 30 Division III teams would be that time. In the Inter-Regional Rumble, hosted by Oberlin College, the Geneseo men’s and women’s cross-country team’s stepped up against and placed second against the tough field. The 34-team field represented different regions across the country and included numerous nationally ranked teams.
On the men’s side, the Knights, then ranked 19th in the nation, beat out No. 20 Allegheny College and No. 31 University of Rochester but lost to sixth-ranked New York University.
Sophomore Brendan Wortner finished first for Geneseo with a time of 25 minutes, 37.5 seconds, barely edging out co-captain junior Cohen Miles-Rath by a tenth of a second.
This was a performance by Wortner that head coach Mike Woods was excited about.
“He is establishing himself,” Woods said. “He has arrived as a runner.”
Wortner had an “up-and-down” freshman year, as Woods put it, but chalked it up to the differences between high school and college cross-country.
The last three runners among the top five seem to be transitioning into the college ranks smoothly: junior Ryan Moynihan, freshman Alex Kramer and freshman Matt Jorgensen all finished within one minute of each other.
The women fared just as well as the men, but against arguably tougher competition, seeing that every team in the top five was nationally ranked. Geneseo led the field at 10th in the nation but could not beat No. 15 NYU, as two of their runners finished top five overall.
Co-captain junior Cassie Goodman finished first for the Knights, 14th overall, with a time of 22:17.
The highlight of the day came when the fifth runner for Geneseo, senior Mary Aldridge, crossed the finish line with a time of 22:33, just 16 seconds after Goodman. This was the fastest pack Woods has seen.
“It was a historic run for us,” Woods said. “This is 22 years I’ve been coaching, and we’ve never had a pack run under 20 seconds and [finish this well].”
Both teams remained nationally ranked with the men moving up one spot to No. 18 while the women fell one spot to No. 11. Woods, who used to pay little attention to national rankings, said he believes the women should be among the top 10 teams. The women who ran in the open 6K for nonvarsity competitors stacked the top 10, finishing second through sixth and ninth.
The SUNYAC championship race is set for Nov. 2.