Strong showing for Rider at Bronc Invitational

cross-country-cc-c.jpgBy Eric Malave
The Rider men’s and women’s cross country teams experienced challenging races on Sept. 15, as they placed first in the Bronc Invitational held at Rider’s home track.

The Invitational consisted of four teams; Rider, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the Seton Hall Pirates, and the Sienna Saints. There were 58 runners competing in the men’s race, while the women’s race consisted of 51 runners.

On that Saturday morning, junior Matt Dahl completed the five mile race with a time of 25:51:40, winning first place at the Invitational for the men’s team.

Following right behind Dahl was freshman Christian Gonzalez, finishing in second place with a time of 25:52:50.
Senior John Smith came in third place for Rider with a time of 25:59:00, and senior runner Michael Soroko took fourth place with a time of 26:04:10. Senior Jeff Stead came in eighth place with a time of 26:19:70.

Dahl felt that he raced well on Saturday, but he mentioned that the victory was not about him, it was about the team making a statement for this season.

“It was great running as a group from pretty much start to finish,” Dahl said. “It’s nice to look to your left and right in the middle of a race when you’re starting to feel a little tired and see your teammates right there.”

Also winning first place at the Bronc Invitational was the women’s team. Coming in third out of 51 runners was sophomore Kelly Wojciehowski, who completed the 3.1-mile course in 19:21:60.

“I felt that I ran very well this weekend,” Wojciehowski said. “19:21 is my fastest 5k I’ve ever ran on a cross country course by about a minute.”

Also finishing for the Rider women’s cross country team was freshman Chelsea Callan, who finished in fourth place with a time of 19:33:50.

Following Chelsea was junior Megan Crowe, placing fifth with a time of 19:35:70, and sophomore Lauren Lester who came in tenth place at 19:57:80.

The season began on Sept. 8, when Rider competed in the Fordham Invitational, which was hosted at Van Cortlandt State Park in Bronx, N.Y.

The Broncs performed fairly well as the men finished seventh out of 22 teams.

Smith placed 30 out of 233 athletes, completing the five mile course in 27:32. Coming in 55 place, with a time of 28:35, was sophomore Robert McCullough.

As for the women’s cross-country team, they placed eleventh out of 23 teams.

Sophomore Kelsey Kohler was the first to cross the finish line for Rider, placing 38 out of 233 runners. She finished the 3.1-mile course in 20:37. Finishing shortly after was Chelsea Callan, placing in 56 place with a time of 20:50.

Both teams are expecting to work hard this season to be successful.

“For us to succeed as a team it’ll be very important to run as a team,” Dahl said.

The men’s and women’s teams are hoping to work together to close certain gaps during the races.

“We all have different strengths and push each other to do well,” said Wojciehowski.

Wojciechowksi believes that this is the best team they have had so far, and she, along with many other members have high hopes for this year’s season.

The team’s next competition is Lehigh’s Paul Short Invitational, which will be held on September 28th.

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