By Shanna O’Mara
The women’s cross-country team placed 25th of 35 in the Gold Race during the 42nd annual Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Oct. 2. In the Brown race, the men placed 19th of 39.
Seniors Emily Ritter and Nicolette Mateescu led the women in this meet, hosted by Lehigh, placing 16th and 39th of 312 runners, respectively.
“We had a lot of breakthrough performances for the women,” Head Coach Robert Hamer said.
Ritter, who placed higher than any other Rider athlete ever has in the 6,000m event, finished the course in 20:59 after being tripped in the first 800m and making up time throughout the rest of the race.
“Emily is racing fantastic right now,” Hamer said. “She is on a completely new level than she has been in previous years. She is exactly where she needs to be right now and she is ready to make another big leap in a few weeks at Princeton.”
Mateescu covered the course in 21:25, nearly a minute faster than she had the year before.
“Niky has improved so much over the last few years,” Hamer said. “She is an outstanding runner who is very valuable to this team. She has the potential to be a top-five runner in the MAAC, which is incredible. She is continuing to make great progress, and I am always excited to watch her compete.”
Sophomore Alexandra Santora placed 164th with a time of 22:41. Graduate Katie Kinkead was seven seconds behind, earning 180th place. Senior Stephanie Welte ran the course in 23:11, with freshman Katie Chinery and sophomore Lexie Taylor finishing close with respective times of 23:45 and 24:04.
The men were led by sophomore Mike Pinnola, who finished the 8,000m course in 25:47, placing 82nd of 353 runners.
“The men ran a very nice race,” Hamer said. “It was a big improvement over previous years, and I am excited about our progress.”
Junior Brad Kaufmann placed 92nd, covering the course in 25:52.
Other top finishers included sophomore Nick Kontos in 130th (26:13), junior Connor Szwetkowski in 138th (26:17), sophomore Danniel Belay in 140th (26:19), senior Jon Knipper in 160th (26:29) and sophomore David Paduani in 187th (26:44).
Several Broncs will compete at the Princeton Invitational on Oct. 17 while others will travel to the Lafayette Invitational the same day.