Women’s cross country wins seventh straight NEC title

Angelique Fiske

The Quinnipiac women’s cross country team finished on top in the Northeast Conference Championship Saturday at Holmdel Park, N.J. for their seventh consecutive title. The Bobcats took first place in the 5,000-meter race with 44 points and their top seven runners crossing the finish line before the end of the twentieth minute. Quinnipiac was followed by Sacred Heart in second place with 75 points and Monmouth in third with 91 points.

Senior Morgan Roche came across first for Quinnipiac and fifth overall with a time of 19:02.70. Roche was followed in succession by junior Andrea Szarkowicz and sophomore Brianna Faust, claiming sixth and seventh place respectively with times of 19:10.80 and 19:16.50.
“It was exciting to see them race so well as a pack and work well together as a team,” Quinnipiac head coach Carolyn Martin said.

Sophomore Amanda Faust was only separated by this pack by three runners, placing eleventh overall with a time of 19:23.90. Sophomore Jessica Soja and senior Julie Lanning were next in 15th and 16th places with times of 19:33.70 and 19:35.00 respectively. The seventh Quinnipiac runner crossed at 19:51.60 in senior Kaitlyn Kelly, placing 24th overall.

“It was exciting to win again,” Martin said. “But I was even more excited to see some outstanding performances today. It just proved how strong our team is and what we’re capable of.”

The men’s team improved from last year’s preformance and placed sixth overall with 151 points in the 8,000-meter race. Central Connecticut walked away with the title with 54 points, followed by St. Francis (Pa) with 67, and Mount St. Mary’s with 131 points.

Freshman Spencer Mannion crossed the finish line first for the Bobcats in 27th place with a time of 27:50.90. With runner distancing them, junior Mike Levene came through in 29th place at 27:54.50.

“I think the men really ran great and came together as a team today,” assistant coach Bart Wasiolek said. “I’m really proud of them as they battled the entire way. Although a few injuries set us back, it was really the first race this season that the men ran together as a team.”

Finishing in 37th place was freshman Thomas Dextradeur, running the 8k course in 28:10.60. Junior Richard Stoliker and senior John Healy placed 40th and 41st respectively, boasting times of 28:17 and 28:20.30. Capping off the top-seven were juniors Jacob Cetera and Edgar Carrasco coming in 65th and 71st; Cetera crossed the finish line with a time of 29:07.30, and Carrasco finished at 29:35.70.

“We really improved from last year and were very close to hitting our goal for the season,” Martin said. “I saw a lot of great racing today and the men really stepped up to where they needed to be. We packed up as a group nicely and that’s what helped us improve in our scoring today. The team ran as a group much better than they have earlier in the year.”