Lions get off on the right foot

By Kevin Lee
Correspondent

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams began their 2010 campaigns at the Oneonta Airfield Invitational in Oneonta, N.Y. Both teams had a robust start to their 2010 season, as the men’s team placed fifth out of 19 teams, while the women’s team placed fifth out of 20 teams.

“We’ll be running our regional championships on the course at Oneonta in November, so I think it was really important for us to get out there and get a feel for it,” junior Andy Herschman said. “Plus we got in some good competition with the top teams in the region. I think we showed ourselves and the other teams that we’re going to be strong this year and that we’re going to make a big fight to get to nationals.”

The men’s side was led by senior TJ Bocchino as he finished the 8K the quickest for the Lions with a time of 25:15.5, good for eighth out of 288 competitors. Other impressive finishes belonged to juniors Andy Herschman and Rob Nihen. Herschman crossed the finish line at 25th with a time of 26:04, while Nihen finished 32nd with a time of 26:10.07.

“Honestly I had no idea where I was place-wise until I looked at the results. All I was thinking about was running hard for the team,” Herschman said.

On the women’s side, junior Claire Johnson finished the 6K the quickest for the Lions. She finished with a time of 22:49.9, placing her 16th out of 246 competitors. The women’s side also got superb production from their sophomores. Danielle Aran finished 29th with a time of 23:13.3, and Rachel Morris finished nearby with a time of 23:14.6, good for 32nd, respectively.

“At the Airfield Invite, we got the chance to race head to head with our regional competition and got a first hand look at the course before the regional meet,” sophomore Catherine Goncalves said. “Hopefully, this will give us the upper hand when trying to qualify for nationals this November.”

The Oneonta Airfield Invitational was a great event to build off of for the men and women. From this event, the men and women will use this as a stepping-stone, as they both begin their quest to continue their New Jersey Athletic Conference championship streaks at 16 and 15, respectively.

“We’re pretty confident in the team this year to keep our NJAC streak going. The key there is to just work together and stay as a pack. We’ve been good about that so far so I’m sure it won’t be a problem when it count,” Herschman said.

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams resume their seasons on Oct. 1st at Lehigh University as they compete in the Paul Short Invitational.