Cross-country finishes first and second in SUNYACs

On paper, the men’s and women’s cross-country teams had a day anyone would be proud of. The women came in first, earning the crown of SUNYAC champions, while the men were just edged out by SUNY Cortland, earning second place. While he is proud of the women for becoming SUNYAC champions, not walking away with two SUNYAC titles leaves head coach Mike Woods a little bitter.

“I’m [happy] and I’m not,” he said of the races. “Our guys ran their best race of the year … but we came up empty.”

Junior Ryan Moynihan led the Knights with a time of 25 minutes, 8 seconds, good for third place, followed by junior Cohen Miles-Rath eight seconds later with 25:16 at fifth, both earning first-team All-SUNYAC honors.

It’s not as if the men’s team underperformed, either. Nine runners broke 26 minutes, something Woods has never seen his team do, and it was the fastest pack of the year at 37 seconds.

Sophomore Brendan Wortner also earned All-SUNYAC honors on the second-team and junior Sean Fisher and freshman Alex Kramer on the third-team.

The highlight of the day happened on the women’s side, though.

Junior Keira Wood took first overall in a come-from-behind win down the last 200 meters of the race. Not only was it her best time of the year, but Woods described her race as “perfect.”

“My goal was to make the top seven,” Wood said. “I wasn’t expecting to win.”

It may not seem to be the case, but cross-country is a mental game. Without a sound mind, it is difficult to win, and it wasn’t until this race that Wood was able to hone that part.

“I was really calm before the race,” she said. “I wasn’t overthinking it.”

The team doesn’t win, however, without the performance of the other four runners, who all earned All-SUNYAC honors. Without sophomore Jacquie Huben on first-team, junior Joanna Castrogivanni, junior Cassie Goodman and freshman Sara Rosenzweig on second-team and junior Alyssa Knott on third-team, Wood said she woudn’t have earned the first-place finish.

“Running with my teammates [in the race] has been so helpful,” she said. “Looking around and just seeing all blue and gray – it’s just amazing.”

The season is not over, though. The next race is the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships on Nov. 16 at Letchworth State Park, Geneseo’s home course.

Woods says he is hopeful about this race due to the fact that both the men and women won at this course earlier in the year. Knocking on wood, he said, “We’ve got to do it again.”