Last Saturday, the Siena Saints competed in the 2018 MAAC Cross Country Championships, which for the first time ever was held at The Crossings here in Colonie, NY. This seemed to have a high amount of influence on the Saints’ level of confidence, as both the men’s and women’s teams set or tied numerous program records, and had multiple Saints named All-MAAC. This also marked the culmination of many season-long goals set out by the Saints at the very beginning, which proves to be very promising for the future of Siena Cross Country.
For starters, the men’s team set the program record for best finish with a second-place finish in the men’s 8K. Junior Evans Kibet finished in sixth place with a time of 25:29.8, only 28 seconds off from first place. Only 13 seconds behind him was junior Stosh Davis, finishing 11thwith a time of 25:42.3. Finishing two places further in 13th was senior William Randall, with a time of 25:46.2. Rounding out the top 30 for Siena was senior John O’Hara who finished 21st with a time of 26:06.0, and junior Michael Rautter in 26th with a time of 26:11.2. The collective efforts of the Saints helped them to score a total of 77 points in this event, which put them behind Iona to earn a second-place finish in the event.
Over on the women’s side, they finished third overall in the 6K championship race, which ranks second-best in program history. Finishing in 10th place in the 6K was senior Sarah Forman, with a time of 22:12.4. This time marks the tenth best finish in program history, which now nets her six of the top ten times in Siena’s record books. Four other Saints finished within the top 30; sophomore Monica Strain in 22nd with a time of 22:42.8, junior Sydney Johnson in 26th with a time of 23:05.3, junior Carolyn Pellegrini in 27th with a time of 23:10.3 and sophomore Morgan Serkes with a time of 23:18.1.
To top all of this off, eleven men’s runners and twelve women’s runners earned recognition to the MAAC All-Academic team. For the men, Michael Carroll, Stosh Davis, Chris Estremera, Jacob Greski, Ryan Holland, Matt Jacques, Jason Linendoll, Jack O’Hara, Michael Rautter, Michael Stoker and Peter Wagner would all be elected to the team. For the women, Holly Bednarek, Allison Hill, Sydney Johnson, Camryn Johnson, Carissa Kahn, Meghan McDonough, Mary McNally, Carolyn Pellegrini, Anya Schmitt, Morgan Serkes and Abbi Wright would all earn the honors as well.
In terms of a program finish, head coach John Kentworthy said, “The goal all year has been finishing second for the men and third for the women. So today was just a great culmination of a season-long commitment to big goals. We knew we had great opportunities and have set ourselves up well all season, but the MAAC will never make it easy. So to come away successful on both sides was a lot of fun. I’m extremely proud of our student-athletes and thankful for such a supportive community that came out to cheer us on at home.”
Although the Saints enjoyed big program finishes in the local championship, Iona would be the ones to take home both the men’s and women’s championship win, marking their 28th straight team championship, and their 18th straight individual championship. While the Saints have some catching up to do in order to go toe-to-toe with Iona, these finishes mark the sign of immense progress in the school’s program, with hopefully more successful seasons to come in the future.