The Stony Brook cross country teams had a busy weekend as they competed in two meets. The women’s team and part of the men’s team traveled to New Jersey for the Princeton University Invitational on Friday, Oct. 12 while the rest of the men’s team competed at the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals meet on Saturday, Oct. 13.
A few key runners contributed to the women’s team’s sixth place finish. Senior Annika Sisson came in 10th place with a time of 21:24.5 over 6,000 meters. Sisson was followed by freshman Klaire Klemens, senior Talia Guevara and junior Clodagh O’Reilly who recorded times of 22:43.5, 22:44.1 and 22:46.3 respectively.
“Considering we haven’t raced in 3 weeks, I felt the girls competed well,” head coach Andy Ronan said in a press release. “The way the rest of the group finished the last 2k was encouraging, particular since it was the first run over the 6000m distance for a few of them.”
On the men’s side, the young team struggled to a 15th place finish out of 20 schools. Junior Luke Coulter led the way for the Seawolves with a 36th place finish and a time of 24:55.3 over 8,000 meters. He was followed by freshman Aiden Smyth, senior Ben McDermott and freshman Robert Becker who finished with times of 25:24.3, 25:31.9 and 25:37.3 respectively.
“Today was definitely a learning experience for this young group,” Ronan said in a press release. “But I am optimistic that they will gain from that experience. Luke Coulter had a very good run and I was also pleased with the way Aiden Smyth and Victor Garifo competed.”
On Saturday, Oct. 13 the rest of the men’s team ran at the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals meet for the first time in program history, placing 23rd against stiff competition. The meet featured 34 teams, nine of which are ranked in the top 25 in the country as of Oct. 2, including No. 2 BYU, No. 4 Portland and No. 8 Syracuse.
“Today’s result was interesting, it wasn’t what we were hoping for but it wasn’t a disaster,” Ronan said in a press release. “We got ourselves in a good spot in the first half of the race, but did nothing with it.”
Some standout runners at Pre-Nationals were juniors Cameron Avery, Kyle Kelly and seniors Kevin Vinolas and Darian Sorouri.
“Our normal top two, Cameron and Vann, were off their game today,” Ronan said. “But I was pleased with the way Danny Connelly and Kevin Vinolas competed. I also felt that Darian ran a very good race in the Gray race.”
Despite Avery’s struggles during the race, he was still able to produce the fastest run for Stony Brook with a time of 24:57.7 over 8,000 meters. Kelly ran well and finished with a time of 25:12.3, followed closely behind by three Seawolves who finished within one second of each other. Vinolas tied senior Michael Watts with a time of 25:13.4 and Connelly followed with a time of 25:13.7.
“We need to look at a few things over the next few days and then shift our focus to what’s coming next, the America East and Regional Championships,” Ronan said. “The main part of the season is coming and I feel we are still in a very good place to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.”
The Seawolves will end their regular season on Friday, Oct. 19 when they compete in the Central Connecticut Mini Meet at 3 p.m.