By George Tatoris
A cross country runner, more than anyone else, knows the importance of pacing.
To get fast times, runners need to start off slowly and speed up at crucial moments throughout the course.
However, at the Rider Invitational this Saturday, Sept. 19, junior Andrew Tedeschi wanted to see how far he could push himself by pushing himself earlier in the race.
At the 5K point, he began to feel the burn.
“I never ran that fast to start out an 8K,” he said. “I was afraid I would burn out for the last two miles.”
Among the schools present, the College was the only non-Division I team on the course that day.
When Tedeschi realized his Division III position among the leaders in a majority Division I race, he thought of his teammates pushing forward behind him, and found the inspiration to push ahead.
He finished third out of 137 runners with a time of 24:53.
“I would say breaking 25 (minutes) is a pretty cool achievement to pass in cross country,” Tedeschi said.
Behind Tedeschi, junior Roberto Guiducci finished 12th overall with a time of 25:04.3. Senior Tyler Grimm was behind Guiducci with a time of 25:11.8.
Despite being the only non-Division I team on the course Saturday, the men didn’t let themselves get intimidated.
“It is important that we stay focused and race like it is any other day,” said Guiducci before the race. “If we go out there and perform how we usually do, there is nothing to worry about.”
The College finished third with 76 points, behind Marist College in second with 65 points and Monmouth University in first with 42 points.
Freshman Madeline Tattory was top Lion in the women’s race, finishing 22nd out of 141 runners with a time of 23:13.5.
Shortly behind Tattory, a pack of five Lions crossed the finish line in a 25-second spread.
Seniors Marissa Lerit and Carly Martz finished within a fraction of a second of each other.
Lerit took 29th with a time of 23:37.5 and Martz finished 30th with a time of 23:37.9.
Just behind them, junior Laura Straub took 31st with a time of 23:31.4.
Freshmen Abigail Faith and Emma Bean rounded out the pack, taking 33rd and 34th, respectively, with times of 23:33 and 23:39.4.
The women’s team took sixth place with a total of 145 points while Quinnipiac took first with 49 points.
“We have worked so hard as a team these past few weeks and are eager to show everybody what we can bring to the table,” Lerit said before the meet.
The Lions ran on familiar ground — the meet took place at Rosedale Park, where the College recently hosted the Blue/Gold Invitational.
Lerit said that the Rider Invitational helps runners “get familiar” with Rosedale’s course while showcasing their talent by going up against other strong collegial programs.
The Lions trained hard for the past few weeks in order to prepare for that competition.
For Tedeschi, it was “an awesome feeling seeing the training paying off” at the Rider Invitational.
The men’s team will not compete until the DeSales University Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 10, while the women’s team’s next meet will be the Paul Short Invitational on Friday, Oct. 2.