With both the Geneseo men’s and the women’s cross country teams finishing sixth at the Harry Groves Spike Shoe Invitational at Pennsylvania State University, the Knights came out of their respective meets with high hopes. The Knights left University Park, Pennsylvania on Saturday Sept. 13 with their heads held high, having been able to hold their own against Division I opponents Penn State, Syracuse University, Georgetown University, St. Joseph’s University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Fellow SUNYAC competitor and rival SUNY Cortland was also at the meet. The Red Dragons finished two spots behind the Knights, much to the delight of coach Mike Woods.
“I don’t care if it’s Tiddlywinks or KanJam, it always feels good to beat Cortland,” he said.
Geneseo also sent a squad of runners to the SUNY Brockport Golden Eagle Cross Country Invitational. The women’s team came in second, while the men’s team did not register for a finish because it failed to send enough athletes to the meet. The real importance of that meet lies in the fact that the Brockport course is going to be where the SUNYAC Championships are being held. The runners who went to Brockport had a sneak peak of the course and this information can only help their teammates.
These two meets are very encouraging for the Knights, who are eagerly anticipating more high profile meets later in the season.
“We still have to get to the meat of our schedule…Our racers are chomping at the bit to get going with their training and further races,” Woods said.
“The top 10 racers—I’m going to hold them back a bit, but everyone else is going to go as hard as they can, trying to get a spot for the Pre-Nationals,” Woods said. “Our team is going to go real hard for all of these meets that are coming up.”
The Knights' biggest upcoming test, Pre-Nationals, will be in Mason, Ohio.
“We’re going to race real hard. It’s going to be the first time that I tell them, ‘Look, we want to finish as high as we can’,” Woods said. The top two finishers from each region receive an automatic bid from the NCAAs, something the Knights expect to do every season.
The Geneseo men’s and women’s cross country teams are both looking forward from their successful meets. Both squads, however, are looking a little beyond their next meet—with their eyes on the Pre-Nationals. As of now, that is the big prize they are working for. And, if their results from their past meets are any indication, then they will be fully able to realize their goals. The Knights next race is the Yellowjacket Invitational at the University of Rochester on Saturday Sept. 20.