Cross country continues leading the pack

The Knights saw another successful run for the men’s and women’s cross country teams on Saturday Sept. 10 at the Oswego Invitational. The invitational marked the second meet of the season, with the first fielding some of the top runners from last year’s teams. The men’s team put on a dominating performance, snagging 15 of the top 20 spots. Leading the charge for the Knights was junior Isaac Garcia-Cassani, who ran an eight-kilometer track in 26:50. Close on his heels was senior Alfredo Mazzuca taking second, crossing the line three seconds behind his teammate.

Rounding out the top five Geneseo scorers were freshman Sean McAneny and seniors Alex Kramer and Matt Jorgensen, who all placed fourth, fifth and sixth overall, respectively. Geneseo grabbed an 18-point score-line—as points are given on positions of placement to the first five runners of that team—putting the Knights well above St. John Fisher who is in second place with 60 points.

At this point in the season, the men’s squad shows a tremendous amount of depth in its lineup, having just as many underclassmen as upperclassmen place in the top 10 overall with four apiece. Even more impressive is that the top eight overall finishers displayed mile paces of 5:31 or lower. Given the amount of time until the postseason arrives in late October, there is the potential for a large improvement from both groups alike.

The women’s squad displayed an even stronger performance, taking nine of the top 10 overall spots with a clean sweep from first to seventh. Sophomore Elise Ramirez led the pack with a time of 19:46 on the five-kilometer track, and senior teammate Sara Rosenzweig followed, finishing seven seconds behind. Seniors Ashley Peppriell, Marissa Cossaro and Marissa Bellusci rounded out the top five, giving Geneseo a perfect 15-point score-line for the invitational. The women outscored second place St. John Fisher with 77.

This early dominance at the start of the season is an indicator that the women’s squad will once again look to compete on the national level, as they hope to repeat their second-place overall finish or improve upon it. With over nine runners already putting up 6:35 mile paces or better this early in the season, the squad will look to put up more perfect score-lines as the season continues.

“I am really pleased with the team’s fitness at this point in the season,” head coach Dan Moore said. “We came in with a strategy for the whole team to run as a pack for a majority of the race. Watching them accelerate and close hard was fun and impressive.”

Both teams look to continue their early season success on Saturday Sept. 17 at the Rochester Invitational.