Running Onward

The 2010 Men’s Cross Country season came to a close last month, and according to team members it was a step in the right direction.

Despite having a season that included positive outcomes – finishing first in the Bard Invitational in September – as well as negative outcomes, such as finishing 38th out of 40 teams at the Paul Short Invitational, the team believed that experience was gained for a push next season.

“We have a young team, and year by year, it gets more serious with more committed runners arriving,” fourth-year captain Joe Gentsch said. “I think we did well as a team, but there is always things to improve on.”

The Hawks started off their 2010 campaign by finishing at the top two spots in their first three meets but as the season progressed, injuries began to affect the team’s record.

Second-year Shawn Gannon and first-year David Lukas both were injured late in the season, having a direct impact on the results the team put out acceding to Assistant Coach Justin Harris.

Despite injuries and inconsistencies, the team believes that positives can be taken going forward.

Harris said  first-year Harry Collins surprised the team early in the season.

According to Harris, Collins struggled to hold pace in workouts during the season, but finished the season as the second and third runner counting for points at the SUNYACs and Atlantic Regional Championships.

Collins said that as a first-year runner, he met his personal expectations for the season.

“I was excited to run at the collegiate level and continued to progress through the season,” Collins said.

Gentsch believed one of the team’s biggest strengths was how the team came together over the course of the season – something he said was missing in past years.

“We were more than just a group of runners competing at meets,” Gentsch said. “We got the teamwork aspect done well this year.”

Second-year Ethan Cohen agreed with Gentsch, but still saw room for improvement in the coming years.

“People were dedicated this year, no one’s effort ever came into question,” Cohen said. “On the other hand the team needs to work on coming together, it can be very hard to feel united as a team in an individual sport like cross country.”

As a coach, Harris is looking back on the season and analyzing training protocols in an effort to improve the team next season.

“I have a clearer vision of what changes we need to make to make this team a top five SUNYAC team,” Harris said.

Much like Harris, the team sees no reason that they can not excel in the future.

Cohen believed that with a healthy team next season, they’ll “turn some heads.”

“In the future, I see this team being a championship level team,” Cohen said. “We have the talent, courage and dedication to get where we need to be.”