The cross country team’s last outing was three weeks ago at the Stony Brook Invitational, and both the men’s and women’s teams are anxious to improve on those runner-up finishes.
This weekend marks the beginning of the long haul for the cross country team, which will have no more extended breaks between invitationals.
This past year, the Light Blue men’s team came in 17th place in NCAA Nationals—the highest that the team has ever finished in the prestigious meet. Head coach Willy Wood said that he expects the men to do as well or better this year. “We always come with high expectations,” Wood said.
“The ultimate goal is to make it on nationals and improve on our 17th-place finish from last year,” junior Daniel Everett said. “We are looking forward to seeing what we can get done this year.”
Wood said that even though three of his best runners graduated last year, he expects continued results from the men’s team. Runners to watch include Everett, senior Jake Sienko, senior Nicolas Composto, sophomore Dustin Wilson, and sophomore Ben Golestan. Two of this year’s first-years, Max Norris and Jack Boyle, were ranked nationally last year among high school competitors.
On the women’s side, junior Waverly Neer is taking a leading role, placing fourth at the Stony Brook Invitational.
“The team is looking really strong this year. We have a good combination of experience and young talent,” Everett said.
In a typical week of practice, the men will run anywhere from 70 to 100 miles. The women run from 45 to 60 miles. Practice takes runners through Central Park, Van Cortlandt Park, or Riverside Park, and on Sunday mornings, the team takes a bus out to Rockefeller State Park to run.
This weekend, the men will compete in the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., while the women will compete at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Penn.