Both the men’s and the women’s cross country teams won their respective races at the Richard Stockton-hosted Osprey Open this past Saturday, Sept. 20.
Sophomore Andrew Tedeschi led a pack of Lions, including freshman Dale Johnson and junior Scott Savage to the finish line. The group stuck together throughout the 8,000 meter race and led the College to a first-place victory out of 12 schools.
“Go as a group. We always run in packs. So when one member speeds up, so does the group,” Tedeschi said.
Savage took third with a time of 26:18.24, and Johnson took fourth at 26:22.33 with a rogue Molloy runner, Conor Gallagher, taking second. Gallagher’s nearest teammate was in 12th place and nearly a minute behind him.
Tedeschi lauded freshman Johnson for keeping up with the older team members.
“Johnson had an awesome debut in the 8K,” he said. “He is going to be a great runner.”
The Lions pack broke up a number of other groups running ahead of them – packs of runners from Molloy and Stevens Institute finished farther apart as Tedeschi and his teammates pushed through.
Tedeschi, Johnson and Savage weren’t the only College runners that ran a good race though. Sophomore Brandon Mazzarella took fifth with a time of 26:23.24, and senior Jeremy Garrell also ran a good race, according to Tedeschi, coming in eighth with a time of 26:47.95.
Junior John Stouber and junior Tyler Grimm took ninth and 11th place, respectively, with times of 26:48.86 and 27:00.17.
Freshmen Dan Apicella, Anik Chattopadhyay and Brett Michelini also debuted on the 8K.
The women’s team also won first place out of nine schools in their 6,000 meter race with a strong pack of runners in the lead.
The College had seven runners in the top 10 — senior Alyssa Silver took 10th with a time of 24:07.48. Seniors Jillian Manzo and Tara Nealon took fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 23:14.70 and 23:24.75. Senior Liz Johnson and sophomore Laura Straub took seventh and eighth, respectively, with times of 23:34.23 and 23:42.88.
Taking second was senior Megan Stack, who clocked a time of 23:06.66.
Junior Carly Martz was the leader, taking first with a time of 22:46.40.
“Last year, I never broke 24 minutes (in the 6K),” Martz said, “I knew I could beat that time this year, but I wanted to smash it.”
Martz wasn’t the only one who “smashed” her personal record this weekend. According to Martz, Silver, Straub, Johnson and junior Kayla Glynn, who finished the race 13th with a time of 24:30.45, all set new personal records in the 6k on Saturday.
Freshmen Krissie Gaffney, Allison Fournier, Sarina Sokoloff and Nina Paranjpe and sophomore Caroline Moore debuted on the 6K this weekend, setting the personal records they hope to break in future 6K’s.
“(Breaking a personal record is so rewarding,” Martz said, “You work so hard every day for months and months just to take off a few seconds from your time, but when you do, it’s the best feeling in the world.”