By Malcolm Luck
The Lions defeated Rowan University and won New Jersey Athletic Conference titles on Saturday, Oct. 27 when both the men and women’s cross country teams traveled to Glassboro, New Jersey to conclude the regular season. Many squads battled for first place, but the Lions brought the trophy home.
The women earned the school’s 32nd conference title in dominating fashion by claiming the first four spots in the 6k event. Senior star Natalie Cooper continued her jaw-dropping season by leading the charge for the Lions and crossing the finish line in 22:47.22, more than 30 seconds before any other competitors. Following behind in second was senior teammate Erin Holzbaur with her time of 23:19.10.
Senior Madeleine Tattory claimed third place in 23:28.18, followed by junior Gabby DeVito who claimed fourth place for the Lions, crossing the finish line in 23:33.30.
Freshmen Emily Prendergast and Kelsey Kobus led the next wave of finishes for the Lions, respectively earning 10th place in 24:15.81 and 12th place in 24:23.32. Junior Hannah Fay raced to 14th place and ultimately contributed the final points to the College’s total as she was the seventh Lion to complete the race. The women’s team totaled 20 points, surpassing the home-field beneficiaries of Rowan by 35 points.
Fay contributes her team’s performance to collective preparation and focus.
“We went in with a really positive attitude and everyone really worked together,” Fay said. “We knew the conditions were bad but we put that aside and just focused on winning the meet. It was definitely a team effort and everyone has been working so hard. It was exciting to finally see the hard work pay off.”
The men’s 29th conference title was won in a more dramatic fashion as the College managed to slip past Rowan University by just one point.
The top finisher for the Lions was freshman Nick Falk, completing the 8k run in 26:34.52. Sophomore Pelle Nogueira claimed seventh with his time of 26:57.71, followed by four consecutive teammates beginning with freshman William Mayhew in 27:04.78.
Sophomore Robert Abrams followed closed behind in 10th with his time of 27:10.99. Senior runner Quinn Wasko’s mark of 27:13.35 was good for 11th place, while senior teammate Luke Prothero pulled into 12th place less than a second later in 27:13.82. Sophomore Matt Kole was the last participant to contribute points to the Lions’ total, claiming 18th place in 27:22.98.
With its 40 total points, the College edged past Rowan University and Ramapo University, who respectively earned second and third places with 41 and 47 points.
The cross country squads will now shift their focus to the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships that will be held at Rowan University on Nov. 10. The action is set to begin at 11 a.m. for the women and 12 p.m. for the men.