By Malcolm Luck
The Lions opened up a long and taxing season at Green Lane Fields in Ewing, New Jersey by participating in the Blue and Gold Alumni Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 1.
In this event, all of the participants were members of the College’s cross country teams or alumni. The men’s team had four alumni participants, while the women’s team had none.
On the men’s side, the top of the leaderboard for the 4K run was closely contested by freshman Lions. Crossing the finish line in first place was freshman Billy Mayhew, completing the race in 13:57.60.
Following close behind were freshmen Pat Mulligan and Stuart Gruters, coming in third and fourth places with respective times of 13:59.50 and 13:59.70.
Sophomore Nick Falk’s mark of 13:59.20 was good enough for second, while junior Mike Zurzolo rounded out the top five by completing the race in 14 minutes flat.
Participating in their first collegiate cross country events, a number of freshmen set their first marks for the College and look to improve through the season.
Leading the second wave of freshman participants was Jack Ennis, who completed the 4K in 14:16.00 which was good for 12th place. Freshmen Andrew Chamberlain, Fabian Mestanza and John Raisley earned 16th, 18th and 20th places with their respective times of 14:30.90, 14:38.00 and 14:57.30. Braeden Aldrich, Dan Sullivan and Matt Smith rounded out the freshman class in 21st, 22nd and 24th place.
For the women, freshman Nicole Fenske led the pack in the 3K event, surpassing her peers and earning first place with her impressive time of 11:57.50. Clocking in shortly after were more familiar faces, beginning with junior Hannah Fay in second place, completing the race in 11:58.70. Senior Natalie Cooper, junior Gabby DeVito and senior Madeleine Tattory finished with respective times of 12:03.40, 12:03.60 and 12:04.00 to earn third, fourth and fifth places.
Freshmen on the women’s team also recorded impressive times during their first invitational. Freshman Emily Prendergast secured a time of 12:17.60 which was good for seventh.
Prendergast was followed by Hanna Batchelder and Lauren Murphy in eighth and ninth places with respective times of 12:18.60 and 12:21.20. Jazzlyn Diaz completed her first race with a mark of 12:45.60, which was good for 13th. Brittany Schofield and Kelly Tucker rounded out the group, respectively completing the event in 13:16.20 and 13:21.60.
Outcomes from this event revealed the talent from the freshman class that will only improve during the season.
After a week off from competition, the teams will return to participate in the Brill Fritz Invitational hosted by Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. This event on Saturday, Sept. 15 will mark the first New Jersey Athletic Conference event for the cross country teams of the 2018 season.