This past Saturday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their seasons at the Old Nassau Run in Princeton, posting impressive finishes against a field made up of NCAA Division I squads.
Leading the pack for the men was senior Chris Guerriero, who finished fifth, crossing the finish line in 19:40.9. Following Guerriero’s lead was freshman Alex Yersak. The newcomer was 23rd with a time of 20:28.4.
Senior Josh Krowicki (43rd place in 21:07.0), junior Brandon Rodkewitz (44th place in 21:07.1), sophomore Dennie Waite (47th place in 21:26) and senior Mike Fonder (49th place in 21:34.1) also finished in the top 50 for the Lions.
The men’s combined scores earned them a fifth-place finish in the team standings of the 6-kilometer race. Host team Princeton waltzed into the team winner’s circle with 16 points. Guerriero’s fifth-place finish broke up the Tigers’ attempt at a perfect sweep, as 15 is the lowest number of points a team can post in a cross country meet.
According to the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Division III poll, the men’s team is currently ranked 22nd.
The women’s team also traveled to Princeton, where senior Stephanie Herrick paced the Lions’ harriers to a solid season opener.
Herrick was top finisher for all Division III competitors, stopping the clock in 23:33.3 and crossing the line in 30th place.
Fellow senior Martine McGrath was just behind with a time of 23:57, finishing in 40th place. Junior Michelle Wallace rounded out the women, placing 54th in 24:32.3.
The team placed a strong emphasis on mental preparation during pre-season practices. Entering the first meet of the season, the team felt strong and ready, according to McGrath.
“Our coaches do a really good job at preparing us for success in our seasons,” she said.
The women’s hard work shone through as they finished ninth at this challenging season opener. Georgetown University claimed the top spot in the meet with 28 points. Villanova settled for second place with 60.
Based upon the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country poll, the women are ranked 15th among NCAA Division III schools.
Both the men’s and the women’s cross country teams will travel to Haverford, Pa., to compete in the Mainline Invitational on Sept. 23. In the past, the College has been successful at this meet, capturing many individual gold medals.