Cross-Country Participates In SUNYAC Championships

After their performance in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championships, the Men and Women’s cross-country teams look to carry their momentum into the NCAA Atlantic Regionals Tournament.

On the men’s side, the group placed fifth out of 10 teams in the SUNYAC Championships Tournament and the women placed seventh.

Third-year co-Captain Galo Vasquez had the best finish for the Hawks on the men’s side, finishing in 19th place with a time of 26:01.5 in the eight-kilometer course. For the women, third-year runner Rebecca Verrone was the team’s top finisher. She ran the six-kilometer course in 23:27.0 for a 30th place finish.

Second-year co-Captain Nick Cruz earned a third place finish with a time of 27:06.9 for the Hawks men’s team in the eight-kilometer course and fourth-year co-Captain Danielle Halikias finished second for the women’s side with a time 23:52.2 in the six-kilometer course.

Hawks Head Coach Mike Trunkes said he felt good about the team’s performance despite the injuries some of the runners suffered on the women’s side.

“I thought the team did a good job running up to their potential,” Trunkes said. “This year we ran much better in our three, four and five positions.”

The Hawks look to improve their performance, as they go on to compete in NCAA Div. III Atlantic Regionals Tournament in Geneseo on Saturday, Nov. 14 at noon.

Last year, the men finished 16th out of 41 teams at the NCAA Regionals in the eight-kilometer race and the women finished 14th out of 40 teams in the six-kilometer race.

For this year’s tournament, Cruz said he feels like the team can move up in the regional rankings and believes the runners can keep improving along the way.

“Almost everyone on the team is getting faster and stronger as the season goes on,” Cruz said. “I fully expect our team to move up in the regional rankings and end the season on a great note. I feel that the team, and myself included, has learned a lot this season. After the NCAA’s we will all be paying more attention to doing all the little things we can do to prevent injury as well as staying healthy and not getting sick. Injury and illness were two of the biggest things that affected the team this season, so in the future we will learn to move past these two obstacles.”

The Hawks look to improve on last year’s finish on both sides, as they are looking to have some of their runners qualify for the NCAA Championships that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21.

“I believe that when you achieve a goal it validates a lot of the hard work and sacrifice you put into pursuing it,” Trunkes said. “It helps to keep our runners motivated to continue to train at a high level year-round.”