UAlbany Wraps 47th Cross Country Invitational
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany cross country team unveiled a new course on a beautiful October morning for the 47th edition of the UAlbany XC Invitational. The meet featured 10 squads from around the northeast, including the Middlebury men, ranked ninth in the Division III national poll, and the Vermont women, ranked 14th in the Northeast regional poll.
Middlebury swept the team titles. The men put together a convincing victory over second place Vermont in the R.K. Munsey Championship 8K, scoring 22 points to Vermont’s 79. Middlebury claimed finishing places two through five, with their fifth scoring runner finishing eighth. The men’s individual champion was Nicholas Filippazzo from Adelphi University, setting the inaugural course record of 25:18.5.
On the women’s side, Middlebury scored 24 points to win the Bobbi Palma Women’s 5K, beating second place Marist, who scored 54. The Middlebury women had athletes finish first and second individually, as well as finishing all five scoring competitors in the top eight. Middlebury’s Sarah Guth took the individual title, setting the inaugural course record in 18:27.2.
The UAlbany men finished fourth overall in the team competition, scoring 88 points. James Sommer finished first for the men, earning ninth place in 25:58.6, marking the first time on the season that Christopher Buchanan has not crossed the line first for the Danes. Buchanan finished in 13th place, running a time of 26:14.4. Dylan Lowry finished 17th in 26:26.0, Raymond Farinella finished 20th in 26:30.3, and Jonathan Moore wrapped up UAlbany’s scoring athletes in 29th place with a time of 26:44.6. Rounding out the men’s top seven were Peter Schweitzer, 36th place in 27:04.4, and Youness Benzaid, 38th place in 27:04.9.
Also competing for the men were Andrew Pirnie, 46th place in 27:15.9, Eric Billinson, 47th place in 27:18.6, Patrick Rowan, 84th place in 30:14.1, Chad Barker, 90th place in 31:08.4, and Daryl Subran, 93rd place in 33:06.4.Only three athletes competed for the UAlbany women, who sent most of the squad to Indiana State University to compete in the Pre-National Invitational. Kasia Geiger finished first among the Danes, crossing the line in 63rd places with a time of 21:41.5. Alexandra Payne finished 76th in 22:38.0, and Dominique Claudio finished 77th in 22:45.5.
The meet shifted back to its more traditional weekend this year, after being held in September a year ago. This year’s iteration also marks a step towards a return to form participation-wise, as 10 teams competed in the meet, as opposed to four from last year. By comparison, two years ago, the meet saw 21 teams compete.
“We’re back to our original date, and we’d like to build the meet back up to where it used to be,” said coach and meet director Todd Wolin. “The athletes seemed to like the new course, which you like to hear, and I’ve already spoken to a number of coaches who say they will be returning next year.”
Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Roberto Vives was pleased with the performances on the day.
“We are very happy to be back closer to our traditional course. And there were lots of personal bests on the day, which you always like to see.”
The course itself proved to be slightly more challenging than anticipated, thanks in part to a series of hills late in the race.
“Coach Jones thought the course might run a bit fast,” said Wolin, “but that hasn’t been the case. The athletes are struggling with it a little more than anticipated, but they also said they like it.”
The men’s and women’s teams will now shift their attention towards the America East Conference Championship, back on the course where they ran their first race of the season at Binghamton, on Saturday, November 2.