Tomorrow, the Binghamton University men’s and women’s cross country teams will look to rebound from a disappointing performance in the America East Championships. They head to Madison, Conn. for the NCAA Northeast Regional.
Having finished first overall at the AE Championships last year, the men’s second-place finish this year was considered a disappointment. Binghamton gave Boston University, who hosted and won the event, a run for its money, but were faced with too much adversity. Top runners included sophomore Jeff Martinez and graduate student Chris Gaube, who finished fifth and sixth, with times of 24:41 and 24:43, respectively.
Other than the higher level of competition this year and running on Boston’s home turf, much of the Bearcats’ dismay can be attributed to the absence of top runner Erik van Ingen, who wasn’t able to finish the race due to an undisclosed health issue. He is expected to run this weekend.
Last year, the Bearcats fared well at the NCAA Northeast Regional. Van Ingen finished seventh overall (out of 243 runners) and finished the 10,000-meter race with a time of 31:17. By doing so, van Ingen became just the third runner from any America East school to qualify for the NCAA Championship in the last 10 years.
Gaube also ran impressively at last year’s event, finishing in 38th with a time of 32:36. Martinez finished 67th and seniors Adam Quinn and Casey Quaglia finished 71st and 76th, respectively. The team finished eighth overall (out of 36 total teams) with 259 points. Syracuse University won the event with an intimidating 55-point total.
Following a 2009 season in which everything seemed to go right for the Bearcats, this Saturday is a shot at redemption for this year’s squad.
‘You can’t sit on something like this,’ Gaube said about the loss at the AE Championships. ‘You’ve got to put it behind you because I think this team is a championship-caliber team and I think we still have one really good race in us.’
With a chip on their shoulder and van Ingen making his return, the Bearcats seem primed for a good performance this weekend.
On the women’s side, Binghamton will look to improve upon last year’s performance at the event. With a total of 681 points, the women’s team finished 26th overall out of 35. Syracuse impressed again, winning the title with 59 points.
In a field of 243 runners, sophomore Rachel Miura broke the top 100, finishing the 6,000-meter race in 82nd place with a time of 24:13. Sophomore Lindsay Raulli and senior Sarah Veith rounded out Binghamton’s top three with 126th place and 141st place finishes, respectively.
This year, the women’s team will be coming off an average performance at the AE Championships. Finishing with 183 total points, the Bearcats took home seventh place. Raulli and Miura both ran well and squeezed into the top 30, finishing 27th and 28th overall with times of 18:35 and 18:37, respectively. Stony Brook won its fourth-consecutive women’s team championship with a total of 24 points.
Head coach Annette Acuff, who is in her 11th season at Binghamton, isn’t hanging her head about her team’s performance at the AE Championships.
‘I thought that we ran the best we could,’ Acuff said about the team’s performance two weeks ago. ‘They went out and fought hard and we knew it was going to be a tough battle.’
The Bearcats will be sure to muster another heartfelt effort this time around and will try to overshadow their performance from two weeks ago.
The NCAA Northeast Regional is scheduled for an 11 a.m. start Saturday in Madison, Conn.