Freshmen, veterans carry cross country

Flynn helps the women’s team place first among all NJAC teams. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

As freshmen have consistently been dominating races for the men’s cross country team, it is the veterans who are carrying the women’s team to glory.

Up against 17 teams, the women’s team took second at the Annual Roadrunner XC Invitational, falling short of first place by just one point.

With a valiant effort by senior Megan Flynn, who led the lion pack, the College occupied three of the top 10 spots in the run at Garrett Mountain. Flynn clocked in with the second-fastest time, 24:06.2, in a field of 194 total competitors.

“(The meet) was awesome,” Flynn said. “The team as a whole did really well, too. We got second place as a team and beat all of the teams that were there from the NJAC, which was the main competition that we are going to compete against at the NJAC championships, so we were all pretty excited about that.”

Flynn was followed by excellent efforts from junior Tara Nealon, who finished eighth with a time of 24:24.2, and senior Anginelle Alabanza, who finished just behind in ninth at 24:40.6.

“We definitely want to win NJACS as a team and then qualify for the national meet as well,” Flynn said, expressing her desire for team success over individual accomplishments.

On the men’s side, the freshmen continue to dominate. Andrew Tedeschi ran another outstanding race in 27:18.5, taking seventh in a field of 129 runners.

He was accompanied in the top 10 by freshman Alex Cary, who placed 10th after running 27:38.2, with teammate Brandon Mazzarella not far behind in 13th.

Despite the large differnce between running in high school and running at the College, the freshmen have been able to put in big performances for the team.

“It’s definitely a big transition from high school,” Cary said. “I’m running a lot more than I ever used to in practice and we really don’t get much of a break.”

Cary explained that in high school he only raced 5K, and the meet was the first time he had ever had to race a distance farther than that.

“I didn’t really have much of a strategy going in,” Cary said. “I decided I would stick behind a few guys on the team who had generally been a little faster than me and see how long I could keep that up. I got through three miles and felt good, so I just moved up from there. I actually didn’t realize I finished so close to the top pack until after the race.”

The Lions will continue their season at the Dickinson Long/Short Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pa.