By Shanna O’Mara
The women’s cross-country team placed eighth of 21 teams at the Princeton Invitational on Oct. 17, with senior Nicolette Mateescu placing high.
On the 6,000-meter course, Mateescu finished 11th overall among 206 runners with a time of 21:27.9.
“Niky ran a great race,” Head Coach Bob Hamer said. “Our plan going in was for Niky to go out faster and put herself right up in the front of the race.”
Her training partner, senior Emily Ritter, was close behind, finishing 12th in 21:29.4.
“I love running with Emily,” Mateescu said. “She is a great training partner, who I can always rely on.”
Junior Megan McGarrity overcame an injury to place 51st, setting a personal record of 22:36.6.
“I missed the last race because my achilles bothered me that week,” McGarrity said. “At Princeton, I took some chances during the race where I normally hold back and got a personal record because of it.”
Senior Stephanie Welte was 79th, finishing in 23:14.6, and graduate student Katie Kinkead placed 87th with a time of 23:22.1.
“There were a lot of great teams here,” Mateescu said. “And to place that high as a team is a true confidence booster.”
The Rider men placed 17th out of 21 teams. Junior Brad Kaufmann finished in 60th place among the 181 runners, completing the 8,000-meter course in 25:13.3.
“[This meet] showed what we can do as a team from this point in the season,” Kaufmann said.
Sophomore Danniel Belay placed 87th in 25:38.2. Sophomore Mike Pinnola was 92nd in 25:43.6, and sophomore Nick Kontos covered the course in 25:49.1, placing 100th. Senior Sam Knipper was 108th with a time of 26:01.6.
“The guys ran great this weekend with a bunch of new personal records,” Kaufmann said. “But there is a lot of room for improvement.”
Other members of the team competed at the Lafayette Invitational on the same day.
The men were led by freshman Sean Malone, who placed 62nd of 133 runners in 28:11.42. Freshman Mathew Gonzalez was just 30 seconds behind, finishing in 75th place.
For the women, freshman Rebecca Arnold placed 38th of 71, covering the course in 26:32. Junior Ariana Gagliardi was 41st in 26:50.
“The conditions and course were tough at Lafayette, and the team competed well,” Hamer said. “We need tough courses to help mold us into highly competitive athletes.”
Rider will host the MAAC Championships Oct. 31 at Rosedale Park in Pennington.