Christina Melian, a junior from Staten Island, N.Y. has distinguished herself in the opening cross country meets of the season, backing up a strong performance at the Stony Brook Season Opener with an even more impressive run at the Wolfie Invitational.

Melian dominated the field at the season opener, easily winning the 4K run while leading an overall winning effort, as the women’s team outpaced Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, Fairfield and St. Joseph. Melian’s time of 14:31.98 was first among a crop of five Seawolves, who all placed in the top-6 of the event, while two more ran their way into the top-12.

Arguably most impressive was the manner of Melian’s victory, earning the top step of the podium by nearly 16 seconds.

Providence, Marist and Columbia gave her more of a test in the second and final meet at Stony Brook during the cross country season, yet Melian once again rose above the competition and took home first place, albeit in a different race, as the women faced the challenge of a 5k. Melian once again kept her mile pace under an impressive six minutes to win in 18:37.36.

This time, however, Stony Brook fell just short of taking first place as a team, earning second as Providence had many racers challenging Melian for first, outdistancing themselves from other Stony Brook runners. All in all, against a tough group such as Providence, a winning racer in the event is still a win for the team as a whole.

The men also had a fair share of success at the season opener, winning as a team with Eric Speakman claiming the top spot individually in the 6k with a time of 19:02.65. In the Wolfie Invitational, the team did not run quite as strongly, coming in fifth place overall.

Next Friday, the men and women head to Massachusetts for the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown (Boston), before the rest of the season commences late in October.

Andrew Eichenholz

Andrew is a journalism student at Stony Brook University entering his sophomore year. He is a tennis coach at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center while he is not at Stony Brook, working with students of varying ages and levels, with a focus on the USTA'S Quickstart 10 and Under initiative. He also is an editorial writer for New York and Long Island Tennis Magazines.


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