Men’s cross country speeds ahead to 16th straight NJAC win, Women’s cross country claims 15th consecutive conference win

Wallace finished second overall. (Photo courtesy of Sports Desk)
Wallace finished second overall. (Photo courtesy of Sports Desk)

The College’s cross country teams continued their dominance with the help of a few first-year runners Saturday at the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship held at Richard Stockton College.

The men’s team finished first out of seven teams and secured its 16th consecutive NJAC championship.

Meanwhile, the women’s team stayed on pace and finished first out of six teams. The victory brought the women’s streak to 15 straight NJAC championships.

The Lions posted a score of 31 and secured half of the top 10 spots in the women’s NJAC championship race. The runner-up, Rowan University, finished with a score of 50.

Michelle Wallace played a crucial role in bringing home another NJAC title for the Lions. The senior finished in 2nd place with a time of 24:06.15. The performance was a solid improvement from her 4th place finish as a junior in 2008.

Sophomore Katie Nestor would be the next Lion to complete the race. Nestor came in 4th place with a time of 24:06.15.

Seniors Kelly Cahill and Nicole Ullmeyer were not far behind, finishing 7th and 8th respectfully with times of 24:13.69 and 24:18.69.

Rachel Morris was the fifth Lion to make it into the top 10. The freshman was impressive in her first NJAC championship race, finishing 10th with a time of 24:28.98.

Another freshman, Cathy Goncalves, strengthened the women’s performance even further by placing in the top 20. Goncalves finished in 19th place in her first NJAC championship race with a time of 25:27.97.

Captain Bocchino led the Lions. (Photo courtesy of Sports Desk)
Captain Bocchino led the Lions. (Photo courtesy of Sports Desk)

“It was a great experience to have a freshman. This is a program with a great tradition, winning 15 straight championships and I’m really glad we could continue that,” said Goncalves.

The men’s team fared just as well as the women’s team and saw four runners finish in the top 10 spots of the championship race.

Junior TJ Bocchino lead the pack for the Lions and finished in 2nd place overall with a time of 26:37.61.

Fellow junior Dennis Waite and freshman Max Sparshatt followed close behind finishing in 4th and 5th place with times of 27:03.60 and 27.04.41.

Sparshatt was another freshman runner who was impressive in his first NJAC championship race.

“It was pretty exciting and I’m happy to help the team win,” said Sparshatt. “We try to keep pace with each other to get better and we learn from each other.”

Sophomore Kevin Schikilling also cracked the top 10 with a 9th place finish at a time of 27:25.22.

Senior Brandon Rodkewitz’s run continued the Lions strong outing. Rodkewitz finished the race in 15th place with a time of 27:54.28.

The Lions will look to continue their hot streak next week in the ECAC Championships hosted at Williams College on Nov. 7th.