The men and women’s cross country teams started the season on the right track at the New York University (NYU) Invitational held this past Saturday.
The meet took place at Van Cortland Park, in the Bronx, N.Y.
Junior frontrunner Christopher Guerriero clinched the individual 8K run title for the men in a time of 25:24.6. His victory over the other 253 competitors was the highlight of the day, particularly since it was his first individual victory of his collegiate career.
The men’s team, led by Guerriero, ranked third out of 25 teams with a score of 80 points.
Senior co-captain Galen Johnson placed 12th and fellow senior Steve Kinney took 16th.
According to Guerriero, his victory and the strong team effort are an indication of the success of the season ahead.
“I think this season is going to be the best we’ve had since I’ve been here and probably in the history of our program,” Guerriero said. “(Head coach Phil Jennings) knows exactly how to train this team because we are mainly all juniors and seniors, so he has dealt with us for the past few years. If things go as well as we would like we are going to see a regional championship and hopefully a top-three finish at Nationals.”
The women’s team also had a strong showing as they finished sixth at the NYU Invitational.
Junior Martine McGrath led the Lions through the 6K course with a time of 22:52, finishing 11th out of 260 runners. Not far behind, senior Angela Tecco, an All-American in track, finished in 15th place in 23:06.5.
“I’m positive we can improve and compete better as a team than we did Saturday,” senior co-captain Christin Nystrom said. “We’ve got girls grouped up in workouts hitting times really, really well.”
Nystrom continued, “Our coaches want to make sure we’re peaking at the end of the season when it matters, so if all goes as planned, we should be seeing better and better performances as we near the end of September and October.”
Rather than focus on the teams’ present successes, Jennings has already turned his attention to future meets.
“It was the first meet of the season,” Jennings said, “and you can’t take these results as too much of an indicator of what is to come in November. Our region is fairly strong and our plan is to work up to our full ability.”
With ambitions to better personal bests and team rankings, the men and women distance runners head to Haverford College tomorrow to compete in the Main Line Invitational where they hope to improve upon their season.