By Eric Malave
It was an unfortunate day for the Rider cross country teams, as neither performed as expected in the Brook’s Paul Short Invitational this past Friday at Lehigh University.
The Rider men’s team finished 38th out of 41 teams and the Rider women placed 44th out of 47 teams.
“We were hoping to show up and put together a solid performance from everyone,” junior Matt Dahl said. “I think we all left Lehigh on Friday with a serious sense of disappointment.”
Finishing first for the men was senior John Smith, who placed 103rd out of the 268 men in the race. He completed the 8k course with a time of 25:54.
Coming in 142nd place was junior Matt Dahl, who finished second for the Broncs with a time of 26:12.
“Personally, Friday’s race was an all right performance,” said Dahl. “It turns out to be the second fastest five-mile race I’ve ever run, but I still look for a lot more out of myself.”
Following Dahl was senior Jeff Stead, placing 217th with a time of 27:03. Lastly, sophomore Phil Capaldi completed the course with a time of 27:14.
As for the women, freshman Chelsea Callan finished first for the Broncs. Overall, she placed 212th out 314 women in the race, with a time of 23:52.
Junior Kelly Wojciehowski finished the five-mile course with a time of 24:06, coming in 232nd.
Crossing the finish line right behind Wojciehowski was junior Megan Crowe, who placed 247th with a time of 24:21.
Crossing the finish line last for the Broncs was sophomore Kelsey Kohler. She placed 272nd with a time of 24:52.
“I felt I ran hard, but it was not my best performance,” said Kohler. “I think that the hills at the end hit me hard on Friday and it was very hot when our race went off.”
The Broncs entered the competition shorthanded, as three of their top runners— freshman Chris Gonzalez, sophomore Bob McCullough, and sophomore Lauren Lester— were not healthy enough to compete.
However, the players agreed that this is no excuse for the results of Friday’s competition.
Both teams faced trouble pacing themselves in the middle of the race. The girls did not maintain their pace from the start. Also, there were 30-second gaps in between the runners.
“We just need to move those 30-second gaps faster,” said Wojciehowski. “We are working hard to learn to maintain our pace during the middle part of the race.”
Both teams know that they can perform much better and hope to do so in the future.
“There’s plenty of work that can be done and we can’t let the down performance at Lehigh get to us,” said Dahl. “We have to keep in mind that it’s still very early in the season.”
Both Rider cross-country teams have important meets in the coming weeks.
“Next week when we go to Penn State, hopefully we’ll prove that and show everyone all the hard work we’ve been doing,” said Wojciehowski.
The next event the teams will compete in is at the Penn State Invitational on Friday Oct. 12. This will be both teams last event before the MAAC Championships in Van Cortland Park, N.Y. on Oct. 26.
Hopefully, both teams can shake off this race, and get their seasons back on track.