Women runners gain national bid, but men can’t keep pace

At the 2008 NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships at St. Lawrence University, the College’s men’s and women’s teams performed well despite the inclement weather. Running through mud and slop, the Lions men picked up sixth place out of 34, while the women came in fifth out of 30.

Ranked 25th in Division III, the Lion men finished with 180 points. The Lion women, who are ranked 19th nationally, scored 157 points. Unfortunately, the men’s gritty display did not produce results, as the team failed to qualify for the NCAA National Championship meet.

Senior Chris Guerriero led the Lion men on the day and finished in ninth place for the 8-kilometer course in 25:53.6 and added his third straight All-Atlantic Regional team selection. Sophomore TJ Bocchino added a 12th-place finish in 26:05.0 and was an All-Region pick, as both earned individual spots at next week’s NCAA Championships.

“I’m pretty pumped to race this weekend,” Bocchino said. “It was a real disappointment that the team didn’t qualify, but now it’s time to move on from there and focus on Nationals.”

The rest of the Lions scorers were junior Brandon Rodkewitz (44th, 27:04.0), senior Brian Kopnicki (51st, 27:12.0) and senior Mike Fonder (64th in 27:28.1).Sophomore Dennie Waite (66th, 27:29.8) and rookie Alex Yersak (79th, 27:41.9) were held in reserve.

In the women’s race, senior Martine McGrath finished in eighth place, earning a spot in the NCAA Championships and picking up Atlantic All-Region honors after finishing with a time of 23:28.5 over the 6-kilometer course. Junior Megan Donovan finished in 16th place and made the Atlantic All-Region team as well after posting a time of 24:01.8 on the day.

Junior Michelle Wallace finished in 41st with a time of 24:46.1. Junior Nicole Ullmeyer finished right behind her in 42nd place in 24:46.9. Senior Stephanie Herrick completed the scoring with a time of 24:56.6, good for 50th. Senior Sara Best (64th, 25:11.8.) and rookie Katie Nestor (75th in 25:28.9) were in reserve.

SUNY-Geneseo claimed the women’s title with 64 points, while SUNY-Cortland took home second with 72 points. Cortland captured the men’s team crown with a score of 47, while New York University took home second with 84 points.