Cross country shines bright at NJACs

For the 19th consecutive year, the men’s cross country team blew away the field and won another NJAC title. The women narrowly lost to Rowan University by a six-point margin.

Senior Andy Gallagher put the team on his back by being the first runner to cross the finish line with a time of 25:13.22 in an 8K race. Junior Dominic Tasco and freshman Jack Leahy also landed in the top five for the Lions, finishing third and fifth with times of 25:29.68 and 25:44.72, respectively.

Gallagher wins the race convincingly.

“Going into the NJACs this year, I knew that I might be able to win the race and I was very focused when the day came,” Gallagher said. “I just trusted my training and went for it, and it was awesome to close out my last NJAC race with a day like that.”

Senior Michael Berti, junior James Seyffart and freshman Jon Stouber finished 11th, 12th and 13th with times of 26:05.61, 26:12.18 and 26:12.54, respectively. Senior Alex Matteson was the last of the College’s top-seven runners in 16th place with a time of 26:19.89.

For the women, their strong performance was led by senior Cathy Gongalves who finished second overall with a time of 22:01.48 in the 6K race and wasn’t far off the leader. The Lions had three other runners crack the top-10: junior Anginelle Alabanza was fifth at 23:05.34, sophomore Jillian Manzo clocked in at 23:30.49 in eighth place, and junior Megan Flynn squeezed into the top 10 at 23:35.83.

Senior Rachel Morris, freshman Marissa Lerit and sophomore Tara Nealon were the final Lions to complete the race. Their times of 23:44.69, 23:49.76 and 23:51.89 were good for 11th, 14th and 18th place, respectively, and helped the College attain runner-up status.

The win was a spectacular highlight to another top-notch season for the men. Being something that has happened so often for the team, winning the NJAC’s has certainly not gotten old.

“Winning NJACs is always one of our main goals going into the season, as we take pride in continuing the long tradition of success in our conference,” Gallagher said. “It feels great, especially for the senior class, to know that we’ve kept that tradition alive for the past four years.”

The team will be looking to capture more strong performances Saturday in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships in Rochester, N.Y.