By Michael Mack
The Rider cross country teams traveled to Van Cortlandt Park, N.Y., Saturday to compete in the Iona Meet of Champions. While several individuals performed well at the meet, the teams did not get the results they wanted.
The women’s team finished 15th out of the 21 teams that competed. Finishing first for the Broncs and 44th overall was junior Chelsea Callan, who finished in 24:22 on the 6,000 meter course.
“I’m very happy with my performance,” Callan said. “I have been training very hard and I’m glad it is paying off.”
Callan has high hopes for the team’s future.
“I definitely expect myself and the team to improve as the year goes on,” she said. “We have a very talented group of girls this year that can really help bring our team to the next level.”
This talented group includes sophomore Heather Giovagnoli, who finished second for the Broncs and 82nd overall, and freshman Megan Elgin who finished third for the Broncs and 97th overall.
The men’s team finished 16th of the 23 teams competing in the meet. Finishing first among the Broncs and 57th overall was junior Michael Soroko, who covered the 8,000-meter course in just over 27 minutes.
“I thought that my performance was OK,” Soroko said. “I should have run better through the middle of the race, but I recovered and closed pretty well so I was happy with that.”
The men’s team had the same story as the women’s team, however. While Soroko performed well, the team performed below expectations.
“The team struggled a bit,” Soroko said. “But we know that the meets that really matter are not until late October and early November, so we are not too worried about it.”
Perhaps the main reason for the men’s team struggling was the absence of junior Christian Gonzalez. The usual first-place finisher was forced to pull out of the meet with a leg injury. Gonzalez ran a 24:50 on the course last year, a time that beats the Broncs’ top finisher this year by more than two minutes.
Next up for the Broncs is the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., Oct. 2.