Cross country on the doorstep of nationals

With two victories at the SUNYAC Championships behind them, the Geneseo men’s and women’s cross country teams can look forward to a two-week break before heading to the University of Rochester for the Atlantic Regionals on Nov. 15. The Knights found success throughout the entire team. Top finishers on the men’s side were sophomore Alfredo Mazzuca and senior Cohen Miles-Rath. On the women’s side, senior Cassie Goodman and sophomore Marissa Bellusci were the top runners. The top finisher for the Knights on the men’s side was Mazzuca, a transfer student who hit his stride just as the season had started moving. “I am almost never satisfied with my performances,” Mazzuca said. “That is what motivates me to strive for further, more difficult goals.” That is exactly the attitude the Knights will need going forward if they want to continue their hot streak.

As the Knights start looking ahead to Regionals, they have a new goal in mind: finishing in the top two. If they do, the Knights will lock up a spot at Nationals on Nov. 22. A top-five finish would put them into consideration for a spot. Even though the goal is, and always will be, to finish within the top two, head coach Mike Woods said he believes a top-five finish would be considered a success.

“If we finish in the top five, our strength of a schedule will get us in,” Woods said. “We have a really strong resume.” With multiple wins throughout the season for both the men’s and women’s teams along with a top-10 national ranking for both teams, the Knights should have no worries about securing a spot in the Nationals.

Still, Geneseo needs to be looking ahead to its ultimate goal—landing a spot on the podium at Nationals.

“We try not to become complacent with our current position,” Mazzuca said. “We know there is work to be done and we know that entering the race, we are definite contenders for the bids to Nationals.” With all of the runners adopting an attitude like that, there will be very little that can stop the Knights heading into this home stretch of the season.

Now that the cross country teams have gotten this far—and in such a dominating fashion––it would be a shame for them to lose their focus in the excitement. But no one on both teams wants to feel that way, however. They all have had a singular goal in mind since the beginning of the season: to stand at the podium at Nationals.

If the Knights can continue their march through the competition, they should have little trouble reaching or even surpassing their goals.