The New Paltz Men’s and Women’s cross country teams both had an amazing performance at the New Paltz Invitational, but struggled during the Purple Valley Classic.
The New Paltz Invitational was hosted at the Hudson Valley Sports Complex on Friday, Sept. 17 and saw both teams coming in first place. They competed against Pace and Brooklyn Universities. The women additionally faced Mount Saint Mary College while the men took on Vassar, one of their toughest rivals of the seasons so far.
The women ran a 6k and the first four finishers were all from New Paltz. Fourth-year Clara Flores-Reininger took first place with a time of 24:50.7, followed by third-year Kate Cochran at 24:59.70, first-year Marcella Candlin and second-year Ginny Clifford with times of 27:18.80 and 28:12.20, respectively. They all contributed to New Paltz’s final score of 16, leaving Pace in the dust with a final score of 53.
The men had a similar showing, running an 8k and with three fourth-year Hawks taking the lead. Jake Meyers, Colin Battersby and Daniel Hotaling collectively helped give New Paltz 25 points, with times of 27:42, 28:39.90 and 28:46.40. This helped defeat second place Vassar for the first time this season, who finished with a final score of 31.
After the triumphant Hawks Invitational, both teams traveled to Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 25 for the Purple Valley Classic where they competed against many more teams. In the men’s 8K, New Paltz placed eighth of ten teams while the women came in ninth out of twelve in their 6K. Both teams struggled against competition from Tufts, Springfield, Williams, Middlebury, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hamilton universities.
New Paltz top finishers were Cochran and Flores-Reininger for the women who finished back to back in 22nd and 23rd place. Meyers and Battersby for the men came in 19th and 45th place.
Although the end of the Purple Valley Classic was disappointing after such an exciting Hawks Invitational, the season isn’t over yet. The teams will have three more meets before SUNYAC championships. On Saturday, Oct. 2, the teams are traveling to Geneseo for the SUNY Geneseo Mike Woods Invitational. The following Saturday, they are looking forward to the Mount Saint Mary College Invitational, then they will finish out their regular season on Saturday, Oct. 16 with the Connecticut College Invitational.