The beginning of November can mean many things: Election Day, the upcoming holiday season and Daylight Savings Time. In the world of SUNY sports, though, there is only one thing that truly matters: championships.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, in Cortland, New York the cross country SUNYAC Championships were held. Both the New Paltz Men’s and Women’s teams competed, and both placed sixth out of nine.
For both teams, the biggest competition was Geneseo. The men had won the last six championships, and the women had won the last nine. While this year Geneseo took the prize again, our New Paltz women fared pretty well against them.
Fourth-year Clara Flores-Reininger and third-year Kate Cochran placed fifth and sixth in the 6K, breaking up the sea of Knights that took places one through four and seven through 11. Flores-Reininger’s finishing time was 25:10.6 and Cochran’s was 25:19.8.
Those outstanding performances led to Flores-Reininger earning All-SUNYAC first-team honors and inducted her into the SUNYAC Cross Country Hall of Fame, — only the fifth New Paltz woman runner to enter — and Cochran earned All-SUNYAC second-team honors.
“I am very happy with how this team did,” said Head Coach Aislinn Ryan, in a post-game interview with Payton Malloy Ellison. “This was a really good day for this team this year. I am proud of how they conducted themselves, how they fought, and how they never relented. I think everyone had a good race.”
First-year Marcella Candlin placed 32, with a time of 27:38.3. First-year Allison English also did well, placing in 41. With 86 runners in total, these places helped New Paltz easily triumph over Oswego, Buffalo State and Fredonia.
“I am excited for this young team as they continue to run and gain experience. They have great attitudes and are taking all of these experiences in. It will only make them stronger in the future,” Ryan said.
The men ran an 8K. In usual fashion, fourth-year Jake Meyers placed first for New Paltz. With an overall placement of 17 and a finishing time of 28:15.3, Meyers gave the Hawks 14 points.
Next up to place was fourth-year Trey Hotaling. He came in at 28:42.0 and brought New Paltz 19 points. Seconds later, graduate student Colin Battersby finished in 28 place overall.
The men’s team finished ahead of Plattsburg, Buffalo State and Potsdam, finishing with 153, 166, 217 and 266 points, respectively.
“Across the board, the Hawks were strategic and patient,” Ryan said. “They kept their sights on where they wanted to go, conserving energy and waiting to make moves, which is crucial on a torn up, muddy course.”
On Saturday, Nov. 13, the teams will be heading to Geneseo for Regionals. After that, they’re heading to Kentucky for the NCAA Championships.