Cross country: running in opposite directions

Sports Editor Cameron Levasseur previews the fall season for the men’s and women’s cross country teams.

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

Men’s Cross County

It’s no secret that the Quinnipiac men’s cross country team isn’t exactly the most successful team on campus. It’s never made an NCAA championship meet, never finished in the top 15 at NCAA regionals and has only placed higher than seventh in the MAAC twice since joining the conference in 2013. But a new head coach and a plethora of veteran returners are hoping to finally turn the tide. 

The Bobcats hired David Scrivines for the role at the beginning of August. Scrivines, who led both the men’s and women’s programs at Fairfield for the past five seasons, enters the job with 25 years of experience at the helm of cross-country programs. 

His position is one of high turnover, as the departure of Rich Marcello to SNHU earlier this year made Scrivines the third man to hold the post in as many years. 

The team he inherited is returning 11 athletes from 2021, including graduate student Cam Starr, who was the highest placing Bobcat in five races last season. Starr boasts career bests of 15:12 in the 5K and 31:18 in the 10K. 

Junior Andrew Woodbine is another name to watch out for this season. The Rhode Island native has recorded four personal bests in the past year, including a 5K PB of 15:35 at the Rider Invitational in April. 

Quinnipiac, which was tabbed No. 8 in the MAAC preseason poll, kicked off its 2022 slate with a sixth place finish at the Stony Brook Invitational on Saturday. Starr led the way for the Bobcats, posting a time of 19:54 for 6K. 


Women’s Cross Country

On the other side, the women’s distance squad at Quinnipiac has consistently found themselves among the best in the MAAC, never having finished outside of the top five in the conference meet. It seems only inevitable that this trend will continue in 2022.  

The Bobcats were ranked No. 3 in the preseason poll, equaling their placement in last year’s MAAC Championships. The team is returning its three lowest scorers from the meet, including senior Liv DiStefano. She earned fifth place finishes in back-to-back cross country conference championships and is coming off a strong outdoor season that saw the East Hampton, Connecticut, native break 17 minutes in the 5000m. 

Graduate student Emily Young, who finished just behind DiStefano at the conference meet last fall, was the only senior who elected to return for a fifth year with the program. Aside from her speed, Young’s leadership will be invaluable to a team that brought in six freshmen for 2022-23. 

Among the freshmen is Rachel St. Germain, whose impressive high school resume has her poised to immediately step into a big role with the Bobcats.

St. Germain, who hails from Somers, Connecticut, won four state championships, four New England championships and a national title in the 5000 at the 2022 Nike Indoor Nationals. Her PB of 16:59 in the event places her just behind DiStefano for the best mark on the team. 

Fellow freshman Sierra Gray is also looking to be a big contributor to this Quinnipiac squad. The Long Island native placed second in the New York Class B Cross Country Championships last season and holds a 5K PB of 18:25. 

The Bobcats’ mixture of veteran talent and young blood puts them in a prime position to challenge six-time reigning champion Iona for the conference crown. 2015 was the last time the Gaels didn’t win the MAAC, when Quinnpiac snapped what was then a 10-year reign for its first and only title in the conference. 

The Bobcats also began their 2022 campaign at the Stony Brook invitational, finishing in a tie for first place with the meet hosts. Young led the way for Quinnipiac, running 14:30 over 4K for fourth overall, followed by St. Germain in seventh and DiStefano in eighth.