By Danielle Silvia
On Friday, Sept. 16, the men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in the Rider University Cross Country Invitational at Rosedale Park in Pennington, N.J.
The men’s team finished with three of its runners in the top 15 and placed third out of the eight teams. For the women, two athletes made it into the top 20, and the team finished seventh out of the nine teams.
Senior Andrew Tedeschi finished fifth overall in the 8000-meter race and ran a personal record of 24:51. However, Tedeschi wasn’t the only Lion to beat his record, as senior Brandon Mazzarella also finished seventh in the race and had a personal record of 24:57.
“We implemented our race plan perfectly and the results surely showed that, as we had an amazing team average that I am very proud of,” Mazzarella said. “It is important in running to trust in your teammates and coaches. I fully trust what our coaches are planning and I am confident when the championship season comes around, our team will be ready to do something great.”
In the top 15 of the race also sat junior Dale Johnson with an amazing time of 25:12. In fifth place for the Lions, and 43rd overall, was sophomore Daniel Brennan.
Sophomore Matt Saponara, who placed 36th with a time of 25:38, was happy with his team’s results.
“Yesterday’s race was a solid starting point of our season,” Saponara said. “We are all looking to improve off of our performances and hope that we approach our championship races healthy, strong and ready.”
The women’s team raced against Division II Rider University, as well as several Division I programs. Standouts include sophomore Natalie Cooper, who finished in 12th place overall with a time of 22:22.
“The team is looking strong and will continue to push themselves throughout the season,” Cooper said.
Fellow sophomore Erin Holzbaur placed 18th with a time of 22:42.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the men’s team will participate at the Stockton University Invitational at 11 a.m. The women will have a one-week break before joining the men’s team in Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday, Oct. 1, for the Paul Short Invitational.