For their first meet of the fall season, the Binghamton men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Hamilton, New York for the Colgate/Harry Lang Invitational. With the goal of working out the team’s new runners, the men placed sixth overall while the women placed ninth overall out of nine competitors.
“You have all the kids on the team who maybe are a little bit more developed,” said Binghamton head coach Annette Acuff. “So you kind of miss out on an opportunity as a coach to spend as much time with some of the younger kids and freshmen, helping them adjust from high school to college. So today just allowed more of an opportunity to spend a little bit more time with some of the younger underclassmen, including freshmen, and get them a little bit of experience.”
The leader of the Bearcats for the men’s 6K was freshman Liam Cody. In his first meet as a Bearcat, the Vestal native clocked in a time of 19:51.5. This was good enough for him to finish 23rd out of 114 runners, the only top 25 finish in the meet for either Binghamton squad.
“I think [Cody] ran the perfect place today,” Acuff said. “He really did. He was very patient early on in first mile especially … It’s a pretty hilly course, so he was smart on that end, too. Just being patient, because that first half of the race can really wear you down pretty quickly for that second half if you run it a little bit too hard.”
Two other men brought home top 50 finishes for the Bearcats. Sophomore Andrew Rosenblatt brought home a 47th place result after running a 20:19.1, while two places behind him was freshman Tim Smith with a 20:22.0 and a 49th place finish. Just outside of the top 50 in 54th was freshman Luke Miklus at 20:25.3. For their collective efforts, the men ended up with a sixth-place overall result with 195 points.
“I think it’s a very talented young group, and I think the future is really bright,” Acuff said. “I think a lot of the kids who competed today will have a great opportunity to potentially sneak into our top seven. I think it just adds more depth.”
On the women’s side of the action, a first-year Bearcat again led the squad in their 5K. Freshman Brynn Hogan finished with a time of 19:51.0 and a placement of 44th in the 110 participant event. Elsewhere in the field, freshman Sarah Guyette placed 63rd with a time of 20:14.2 and senior Scarlett Jekic ran a 20:36.6 to finish in 74th. With other placements outside of the top 75, the women settled for ninth place out of nine teams in their event.
“A lot of them have not done a lot of race-specific type training,” Acuff said. “We’ve been doing a lot of base training during the summer … we’ve had less than two weeks of practices. So it was kind of a quick start for us. But, you know, that’s part of the NCAA schedule that we have to kind of adhere to for being able to start practicing when we did. So I think it was a good start for a lot of the girls. A lot of them were really happy with their races today.”
Binghamton will compete at the Iona Meet of Champions next, beginning on Friday, Sept. 15. The first race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. at Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx, NY.