Another week meant another outstanding performance by the men’s and women’s cross country teams. Hosting the Mike Woods Invitational at Letchworth State Park on Saturday Oct. 1, both teams once again claimed victory for Geneseo, and did so dominantly in front of a home crowd. The Geneseo men finished with 17 points, putting them well ahead of SUNY Oswego, who finished second with 108. Junior Isaac Garcia-Cassani crossed the line first for the third time this year with a time of 24:39.5, leading his team to their fourth first place finish of the year.
“Isaac [Garcia-Cassani] is a fantastic athlete and he’s definitely one of the top guys in the country. In my opinion, there are only a couple of guys in the country that can run with him,” assistant coach Ben Wach said.
The men’s squad were able to put up eight of the 10 top runners from the invitational—only thwarted by Geneseo alumni and outdoor-track 5k record holder Lee Berube ’12—from obtaining a perfect score for the event. Wach also lends an immense amount of praise for the team.
“To put three people ahead of [Lee Berube] and two shortly behind was a great accomplishment for us, considering his athletic ability,” Wach said. “One person to highlight is [senior] Matt Jorgensen, who ran his first all-out 8k since his freshmen year and performed spectacularly with his sixth place finish.”
The women’s squad also found themselves with an equal amount of success, claiming their third win of the season. Leading the charge for Geneseo was senior Sara Rosenzweig, whose second place overall finish with a time of 21:50.6 was the forefront of Geneseo’s top five finishers, as she placed in the top 10 once again. The Knights finished with 22 points, beating out second place Elizabethtown College who had 55.
Both squads hope to keep their number one national rankings after the dual first place finishes and are already looking ahead to the post-season.
“Ultimately, we’re not too concerned with the rankings,” Wach said. “The main thing we look toward is our finish at nationals. We’re more pleased with the performance of the teams than the rankings themselves.”
The Knights show no signs of budging from their number one ranking; they have even adopted an interesting strategy for the last regular season meet of the year.
“We’ll be splitting our squads at the Pre-Atlantic Regionals,” Wach said. “Some are going to compete against Division I squads at Conesus Lake to show off their fitness, and others who we feel will benefit more from running the Regional Course at Rowen [Glassboro, N.J.] will compete at the regional … We pride ourselves in being able to run our best at the end of the season—our main concern is setting ourselves up to compete at nationals.”