The New Paltz men’s and women’s cross country teams are preparing to head to Houghton, New York this weekend to compete in the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional meet on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Both teams are looking to improve on their regional finish from last season where the men’s team placed 20th and the women’s team placed 15th. Head coach Mike Trunkes emphasized that both teams are feeling good heading into this weekend.
“The guys have looked good in their workouts and they are getting antsy to compete since it has been two weeks since the conference meet,” Trunkes said. “The girls are in good spirits, they are a little nervous, but that is to be expected given the goals that they want to accomplish.”
Trunkes said that he is hoping for the women’s team to at least finish inside the top ten, which will involve a number of factors for this to happen.
“I believe that our top five runners are going to have to place inside the the top 50 for us to finish in the top ten as a team,” Trunkes said. “If our top two runners in Megan Reilly and Emily Cavanagh each finish inside the top 20 individually, I think that would bode well for our overall placing.”
On the men’s side, Trunkes is hoping for a top 25 finish from the team this weekend. He said it starts with the team’s top two runners, fourth-years Stephen Smith and Barrett Celecki to post good times for the regional meet. Trunkes touched on how a strong performance at the regionals would be a good way to go into next season.
“We have a big crop of freshmen coming to the team next season along with the possibility of Smith and Celecki returning for another season,” Trunkes said. “The future is bright for the men’s team.”
While both teams have the potential to put together strong performances at the regional meet this weekend, Trunkes realizes that they must be ready on Saturday.
“We have the talent to perform, but they need to be ready on race day and they have to want it.”