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Racing To The Top

The Adelphi Cross Country team started off the season in a flash. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished in first place at the St John’s/Hofstra Fall Cross Country Festival on Sept. 7 in Oakdale, NY. The featured individual winners were junior Nick Filippazzo for the men and senior Elizabeth Eickelberg for the women.

Last season, the women’s team finished second in both the Northeast-10 and in the NCAA East Region; they also qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in 10 years. This was an improvement from the year before where they finished seventh and sixth, respectively. As for the men, they had an individual male who qualified for NCAAs in Andrew Coelho; he earned his second All-American honors, while the men’s team finished in fifth in the NE-10 and sixth in NCAA Regional.

At the festival, both the men’s and women’s squads finished first against Division II and III teams. Had they combined Division I with II and III, the men would have won overall as well. The women’s squad ran the 4k race with Eickelberg and junior Larissa Melendez leading the way. Eickelberg never looked back as she clocked 15:00 in her first place finish; Melendez finished just nine seconds behind her in third place. Freshman Nicole Elarde was the third Panther runner to cross the finish line; she clocked a time of 16:20 and came in 19th place. The men followed in the 5k race with Filippazzo setting the pace from the get-go. He took a commanding lead and ran away with a first place finish with a time of 15:24. Senior Connor Dolan and sophomore William Marois crossed the line at 15:25 and 15:27 respectively and finishing tenth and eleventh overall.

Head Coach Katie Rees was very pleased with the results at the festival and optimistic about the season. “It’s hard to predict where we will finish right now because it’s still early in the season, but we are stronger and fitter than last year,” said Rees. “Both the men and women have the potential to finish in the top three in the conference and region if all goes well and everyone stays healthy.”

The teams prepare by running between 45 to 110 miles per week, along with strength training in the weight room, running and hurdle drills and core strength training. The competition for the Panthers this season will come from their usual suspects. The women look forward to challenges from Stonehill and St. Rose while the men anticipate tough races against Stonehill, American International College and Franklin Pierce.

With the season opener behind them and appearing to be on the right track, the season could be a very successful one for both the men and women’s teams.

(Courtesy of The Delphian)