Cross Country Competes at NCAA Qualifiers

Jaime Heilbron

The women’s and men’s cross country teams participated at NCAA Northeast Regional Qualifier last Saturday, November 15 in Van Cortlandt Park, New York. The women’s squad finished 30th out of 34 teams, and the men’s team took 19th also out of 34 squads. It was the second-to-last meet of the year for both teams.

Sophomore Julie Tarallo led the Raiders in this race as she finished 124th overall with a time of 24:08. She was followed in the Colgate scoring by first-year Kendall Lyons, who finished with a time of 24:51 and 176th overall. Junior Susan Fortkiewicz, sophomore Hilary Hooley and junior Jennifer Bradley completed the Raider scoring.

Head Coach Laura Nardelli did not appear satisfied with the team’s performance at the qualifiers.

“We did not have our best performance at the NCAA qualifiers,” Nardelli stated. “Our young team was somewhat inexperienced compared to others at this meet; in fact, none of those representing us this time were at the same meet last year. We did not have senior captain Jess Kielty in the lineup due to an unavoidable conflicting job interview. The torrential rain added to our difficulties, with warm-up preparations precluded.”

Nardelli expects the team to have a better performance at the IC4A Championships, since the course will be a full kilometer shorter than it was last weekend.

The men’s team, overall, did a satisfying job at the NCAA Qualifiers. Sophomore Ed Sheridan once again led the way for the Raiders, proving himself a gem for the program’s future. He finished 54th overall, with a time of 33:20. He was followed in the Raider scoring by sophomore Grant Stauffer, who finished 102nd overall with a time of 34:30. Senior Tim Drucker finished third within Colgate with a time of 34:50 at the 113th position. He was followed in the scoring by sophomore Griffith Cannon, who finished at 35:14, and senior captain Emmett Weatherford, who ran the race in 35:21.

Head Coach Art McKinnon noted several improvements in comparison to their performance at the Patriot League Championships. He also revealed the type of training the team will be going through during its last week of practice.

“This is the last week of the season and we are maintaining no hard workouts this week especially coming off the NCAA regional last Saturday,” McKinnon declared. “We will be using all the healthy athletes from the team. This has been a tough season as almost all of the athletes and coaches have missed time and practice from getting sick.”

Both cross country squads will conclude their 2008 schedule tomorrow when they participate in the IC4A Championship, which will take place in Boston.