Women’s Cross Country Shines in Connecticut

The women's cross country team notched a fifth place finish at the Connecticut College Invite in Oct. 14. Photo courtesy of sports information.

This past weekend, the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Connecticut College Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 14 as the women’s team finished fifth out of 21 schools and the men’s team placed 16th out of 20 schools.

Second-years Megan Reilly and Emily Cavanagh led the way for the women’s team, as they finished in seventh and 12th place, respectively. Second-year Vanessa Morgan also placed in the top 50 with a 42nd place finish, while first-year Cassandra Williams placed just outside of the top 50 with a 51st place finish. Despite the rainy conditions on the track, Williams liked the way the team performed at the invitational.

“The team’s performance this past weekend was very strong and we are all very excited to see what the upcoming weeks have in store for us,” Williams said. “It was a really rainy, muddy, miserable day but we made the most of our conditions. We went in with an optimistic attitude, stayed focused and got the job done.”

Head coach Mike Trunkes was very satisfied with the women’s team’s performance this past weekend despite the poor track conditions. Trunkes also liked how the runners stepped up to the occasion.

“With the rainy conditions, it was tough for the girls to pass anybody late in the race. They did a good job of getting off to a good start,” Trunkes said. “Vanessa [Morgan] was tremendous, Monica [Abrams] stepped up big for us and Cassandra [Williams] had a great effort in running her first 6K.”

Williams was pleased with her individual effort this past weekend despite not having experience with 6K events.

“I am still relatively new to cross country, as I did not start running until my senior year of high school,” Williams said. “I still have so much to learn, as this past weekend was my first 6K. I am looking forward to taking what I’ve learned this past 6K, working of off it, and using it to improve for the upcoming meets.”

The best takeaway from the women’s team’s performance this past weekend from Trunkes was that the Hawks placed in front of their State University of New York Athletic (SUNYAC) foes Plattsburgh.

“Ranking in front of a conference rival such as Plattsburgh during this time of the season is such a huge confidence boost with the conference championships approaching,” Trunkes said.

On the men’s side, leading the way for the Hawks were fourth-year’s Stephen Smith and Barrett Celecki, who each finished in the top 50 with 39th and 49th place finishes, respectively. Trunkes noted how the team gave a good performance despite being shorthanded.

“The men ran without some of our best runners in Brendan Sutta and Jack Wilson, who got injured at the beginning of the season,” Trunkes said. “We had great performances from Barrett [Celecki], Stephen [Smith], Thomas [Rizzo] and Guy [Demarco].”

Up next for the cross country team’s is the SUNYAC Championships which will take place on Saturday Oct. 28 in Potsdam, New York.