Depth puts cross country at the top

The Lions came to Richard Stockton College for the Osprey Open with high hopes. After winning the event last year, both the men and the women knew what to expect and did not disappoint. Although they easily dispatched the other Division III schools, their main focus was to get a better understanding of the course.

“Later in October we have our NJAC Championships there so the main reason for going to the meet was to see the course,” senior captain Cathy Goncalves said. “We just wanted to figure it out because it has changed from last year so we knew it was going to be low key when we went there.”

Although the Lions tried to reserve energy for next week’s Paul Short Invitational, they were still able to dominate, with eight of the women finishing in the top 10. Leading the college was Goncalves with a time of 23:56.17, good enough for second place. Right behind her were juniors Julie Jablonski, Anginelle Alabanza and senior Rachel Morris finishing third through fifth, respectively.

“(This meet was a confidence boost) mainly because it was good for the girls to work together,” Goncalves said. “It’s not just about going out there to race against yourself and your opponent, but it’s also important to race with your teammates and to help each other out.”

Several runners place in the top 25. (Sports info desk)

After Saturday’s performance, it is definitely safe to say that the women are currently clicking together as a team. As for the men, they were equally as impressive as the women.

“We ran this meet last year and won by a big margin,” senior captain Mark Sidebottom said. “Coming in this time, we just wanted to follow the race plan which we made. It ended up working pretty successfully.”

Placing second, Sidebottom led the Lions with the time of 26:33.07. Behind him in fourth and fifth place were senior Michael Berti and sophomore Andrew DeMaria with times of 26:46.66 and 26:52.21, respectively. The Lions finished off their team score by showing their depth, having runners place from eighth through 16th. The finishers were freshman Roberto Guiducci, junior James Seyffart, freshman Jon Stouber, junior Ryan Ure, junior Dominic Tasco, freshman Jack Leahy, senior Alex Matteson, junior Walter Ingram and freshman Mike Olivola in that order.

“We ran a good showing,” Sidebottom said. “Judging by the results, we had three of the top five runners so we were really able to do what we wanted to do.”

With next week’s Invitational at Lehigh University, the Lions are ready for another top notch performance by a full team effort.

“It’s one of the biggest ones in the nation so we are really excited about that,” Goncalves said.

Only time will tell, but after this past weekend’s results, the Lions hope to use their momentum and run well next week.

They will be competing in the Paul Short Invitational on Friday Sept. 28.