By Carlos Toro
The cross country team participated in the Princeton Invitational on Oct. 18, with the men taking 22nd out of 37, and the women finishing 17th out of 35.
Head Coach Bob Hamer had mixed feelings about the team’s performance.
“The women ran very well up front this week,” Hamer said. “The men’s team really needs to work on focusing the entire race. We also need to work on our confidence.”
On the men’s side, the best performer was senior Anthony Dentino, who finished in 46th place out of 301 runners with an overall time of 25:05. Dentino felt the guys did not perform up to their capabilities.
“I thought that as a whole, we had a disappointing performance on the men’s side,” said Dentino. “We are a little banged up, but we have no excuses for our performance at Princeton.”
Other Rider runners who competed included senior Nasser Zayer, who was 132nd with a time of 25:56, and senior Dylan Hallahan, who finished 148th with a time of 26:06.
The Rider women had a better performance than their male counterparts. Junior Nicolette Mateescu, who finished 43rd out of 278 runners, believes her group is improving, but still has a long way to go.
“From a team perspective we are all still improving and coming along,” Mateescu said. “We are working on closing the gap between our top five, so we are all more in a pack.”
The Rider women were led by senior Emily Ritter, who finished ninth in the race with a time of 21:59, followed by Mateescu and sophomore Megan McGarrity who finished 71st with a time of 22:58 to round out Rider’s top three.
Hamer likes what he sees from his top female runners, but feels like the collective group can still improve.
“The strength of our team is our top three runners, but if we want to reach the goals we have for the team we need to see improvement from our next three runners,” Hamer said.
The next time they compete will be at the MAAC Championships in Holmdel, N.J., on Oct. 31. Hamer believes that his teams’ struggles are mental and that they need to overcome some confidence issues in order to contend in the MAACs.
“We need to maintain our health, continue to train hard, and mentally prepare for the challenges of the next big race,” Hamer said. “We are very excited but we need to continue to train hard and remain focused on the goals we have for ourselves and aggressively pursue them with confidence.”