Lions finish close with DI runners

The College’s women’s cross country team began this season with its sights set on an 11th straight New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title. After the Lions’ performance at the Haverford Invitational on Friday, maybe they should set more challenging goals.

Five Lions dragged through the day’s humidity to finish in the top 15 at the non-team scored race, which featured over 200 collegiate and unattached runners. All five tallied times under 19 minutes.

That kind of group success is a positive sign for the Lions with conference championships almost a month away.

“It was great to have so many girls up there,” senior Jenna Fasulo said. “We had a tight pack of women which is very important in scoring for cross country. As for NJACs, the more people we have up there, the better. Last year, we swept the top 10 places so the goal is to match that this year.

Fasulo led the College’s women, finishing at 18:11.70 for eighth place overall and sixth amongst the race’s collegiate runners.

She was the second Division III runner to cross the finish line. Six of the top seven who crossed before Fasulo were from Division I Villanova or unattached.

“I was very satisfied with my finish, especially being up near the Villanova girls,” Fasulo said.

“This course was actually three miles for the women, and the first race of the season was 3.1 miles,” she said. “The regular race distance is six kilometers which is 3.75 miles so it’s tough to compare times because all the courses are different. It was definitely one of my better times for that distance, though.”

Junior Kristen Pogorzelski came in on Fasulo’s tail with an 18:22.90 mark.

Sophomore Erin Enderly tallied an 18:36.20 in 12th place, while freshman Martine McGrath and senior Kara Horner collected 14th and 15th with times of 18:46.90 and 18:47.80, respectively.

For the men’s team, racing on a four-mile track, sophomore Brian Kopnicki was the lone top-15 finisher at 20:30.60. Senior Matt Randal took home 10th in the collegiate standings and 17th overall at 20:36.30.

Senior Jeff Zodda finished 21st in 20:51 for the men and freshman Christopher Guerriero grabbed 25th in 20:56.80.

Junior Greg Howe was the first of 30 runners who finished within 21 minutes at 21:02.50 and sophomore Galen Johnson followed at 21:05.40. Sophomore Dave dos Santos tallied a 21:24.20.

Both teams will compete at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University on Saturday at 10 a.m.