Lions run away with championship and honors

It was a weekend of wins for the Lions as both the men’s and women’s teams earned first place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships hosted at Richard Stockton College.

This marks the 23rd NJAC championship for the women’s team and the 12th in a row. The men brought home their 18th NJAC title, and it marks the 12th consecutive.

Lions head coach Phil Jennings was awarded the 2006 NJAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Sophomore Chris Guerriero earned the 2006 NJAC Male Runner of the Year award. Guerriero finished the race in 25:30 earning first place and became the 11th straight Lion to win the honor.

In the women’s race, the first 12 finishers were Lions. Sophomore Megan O’Leary took home first place and the 2006 NJAC Female Runner of the Year award.

“I wasn’t really expecting it. We have such a strong team it could have been anyone,” O’Leary said. “We all try to work together in groups throughout the race to help each other out. By taking the first 12 places in the race, it really shows that our training has paid off.”

O’Leary won first place in 23:11 as sophomore Stephanie Herrick came in second with a time of 23:21. Next was junior Erin Enderly, placing third in 23:25, while senior Jenna Fasulo earned fourth with a time of 23:30.

Senior Jenna Prendergast finished fifth in 23:34 and sophomore Martine McGrath earned sixth with a time of 23:45.

“I am pretty confident in the women’s team,” Jennings said.

The Lions continued sweeping the race as junior Julie Ullmeyer finished seventh in 24:09 and senior Allison Krayl finished eighth in 24:22.

Finishing ninth, 10th, 11th, and 12th were senior Christine Nystrom in 24:25, freshman Valerie Bonczek in 24:35, junior Sara Best in 24:42 and junior Heather Garleb in 24:44, respectively.

“We are all excited going into regionals and hopefully nationals,” O’Leary said. “Our success in races, like NJAC’s definitely gives us confidence in bigger races like the regionals and nationals. I think we are all prepared for the upcoming races.”

After impressive finishes, it seems the Lions have a lot to look forward in the upcoming weeks.

In men’s action, junior Brian Kopnicki placed second in 25:40 and junior Anthony Arnold followed in third at 25:55.

Sophomore Greg Bull took fifth place honors with a time of 26:04, and junior Galen Johnson placed sixth in 26:17. Junior Steve Kinney placed seventh in 26:18 and senior Greg Howe earned ninth finishing in 26:34.

Junior Mike Fonder took home 11th in 26:48 while junior Kyle Alpaugh placed 13th with a time of 26:58.

Sophomore Josh Krowicki finished 17th in 27:09 while freshman Greg Bredeck placed 22nd and freshman Brian Toms placed 23rd with times of 27:37 and 27:38, respectively.

Regional action begins Nov. 4 at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.