The women’s and men’s cross country teams finished up the season at the NCAA Div. III Atlantic Regional Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 12—finishing 15th and 20th, respectively.
First-year Emily Cavanagh led the Hawks with a 30th place finish out of 303 runners in the 6K race with a school record time of 21:57.6 and fourth-year Galo Vasquez finished 23rd in the 8K with a school record time of 25:03.3.
With their program-best finishes, both Cavanagh and Vasquez earned All-Atlantic Region honors. The women’s side earned 370 points on the day and the men’s side earned 506 points.
“I was really happy with everybody that ran,” Hawks head coach Michael Trunkes said. “The performances were excellent and it was a huge improvement for everybody in the final championship race. There’s a lot of seniors graduating on other teams and for the next three or four years we’re going to be in great shape. With this group, within a year or two, we can be in contention for a national championship.”
Cavanagh became the first runner since Teresa Woych in 2014 to earn regional honors. This is the fourth time in New Paltz women’s cross country history that a runner was given this honor.
Cavanagh managed to reach 26th place halfway through the race, but was unable to hold on and finished 30th. Vasquez began the race in 77th place, and managed to rapidly build his way up to 23rd place by the end of the race.
Vasquez became the first runner in the men’s program history to earn regional honors with his top 25 finish. He bested his 26:19.3 finish from last year in the process and also beat his personal best time of 25:21.99 that he achieved at last year’s Rowan Invitational.
“Galo [Vasquez] crushed his own record, but it wasn’t the most impressive part,” Trunkes said. “He finished 23rd in the region, three places out of an individual qualifier spot. It all comes down to a handful of seconds at the end of the race, but he ran a smart and tactical race and came out a few seconds shy.”
Other notable performances included third-year Stephen Smith placing 82nd in 26:07.0 while fourth-year Josh Korn earned 103rd-place with a time of 26:22.2.
Fourth-year Ian Detweiler was the next Hawk runner to finish, clocking in at 26:48.0 for 137th overall while third-year Barrett Celecki followed behind in 27:17.4 to place 165th.
Trunkes reported that second-year Jack Wilson was battling a leg injury days before the race, and was not able to participate after being a meet-time decision. Second-year Thomas Rizzo ran in place of Wilson.
“The guys across the board all ran really well,” Trunkes said. “There’s nothing you can do to control how other people run, and I was pleased with how they finished out the year and the championship race.”
Now that the season is over, Trunkes said the team will be recruiting new runners in order to achieve the goal of getting a national championship.
The Hawks will bring in Megan Reilly next year, the “real deal” freshman who will be transferring from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Reilly won the high school state championship in the 2,000-meter steeplechase back in June while attending Warwick Valley High School before attending Loyola Marymount University in the fall.
“Everybody finished better during the course of the year,” Trunkes said. “We got to focus now on recruiting. We should have a strong program going forward. Our goal is to get our group to a national championship and that would be an extraordinary accomplishment for this program.”