Although the Geneseo men’s and women’s cross country teams did not achieve their ultimate goal of being on the podium at the NCAA meet, the Knights’ season was by no means a failure. Winning the SUNYAC Tournaments, earning an automatic qualifying bid to the national races—these events made the Knights’ season very successful by any measure. Throughout the season, individual athletes rose above the level of the competition on multiple occasions. Senior Cassie Goodman held an excellent form for the entire season, as well as fellow senior Cohen Miles-Rath who also ran extremely well.
“Our seniors did a great job the whole year,” outgoing head coach Mike Woods said. “Cohen, Cassie, [senior] Alyssa [Knott], they did a real good job providing leadership.”
The leadership from those seniors and more led to the Knights being a very cohesive unit, allowing them to be able to run better as a whole. By being able to gel as a unit, the Knights performed well beyond their peers for the entire season.
Although neither cross country team ended up on the podium, their prospects heading into next season seem to be very bright. Some seniors who played an integral part in this season’s success will be graduating in the spring, but many of the underclassmen are poised to be as good as—if not better than—than many of those runners.
With runners like sophomore Alfredo Mazzuca––who only improved as the season went along––freshman Kristen Homeyer––who finished 84th at the NCAA Championships for the women’s team at the nationals––and freshman Isaac Garcia-Cassani––who finished 203rd for the men at nationals––the Knights should be greatly improved by next season.
One thing that the Knights excelled at during this season and in seasons past has been group identity.
“There’s a real sense of community within the teams,” senior team manager Ben Wach said. “They go out there and they support the other runners and it’s really great to watch.” Geneseo is always one of the teams at meets with the most supporters, something that I believe is a true marker of how cohesive our teams and our school is.
“We pretty much always have the most supports out there out of any team,” Woods said. “The other coaches are always asking me how I do it, and I tell them that it’s just a part of our school.”
Being able to go out there and support their fellow teammates is something that just comes naturally to the runners on both teams. With a solid team foundation and a strong class filled with talented, supportive runners coming up, the future looks extremely bright for the Knights.