McGarrity Best-Ever 2nd at MAACs
MAAC Cross Country Championships
Rider Finishes Eighth
ORLANDO, FLORIDA—The Rider University cross country teams both placed eighth of 11 teams at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
“We were hoping for a bit more as a team,” said Rider head coach Bob Hamer.
DisneyWorld has a slogan, 'Let the memories begin." For the Rider women senior Megan McGarrity (Philadelphia, PA/St. Basil’s Academy) made one Saturday.
McGarrity finished second overall among the 131 runners, covering the 6,000 meter course in a time of 21:27.61, the best finish ever for a Bronc, men or women. “That was tremendous,” Hamer said. “Just a fantastic effort. She’s been running well all year and we were gearing for this moment.”
“I had no idea I would be able to do what I did today,” McGarrity said. “We were hoping for a top five finish and I saw an opportunity so I took it. It was exciting. This is our biggest race of the season.”
“It’s a memory of a lifetime, especially when you do it at Disney,” Hamer said.
For the Rider men, junior Danniel Belay (Gaithersburg, MD) finished first among the Broncs, 33rd overall among the 137 runners, covering the 8,000m course in 26:03.23, junior Mike Pinnola (Manalapan, NJ/Colts Neck) finished 36th in 26:07.79 and senior Brad Kaufmann (East Meadow, NY) finished 42nd in 26:12.61.
“Dan, Mike and Brad ran solid races,” Hamer said. “Through 5K the men were where we needed to be but we weren’t able to do as well over the last 3K.”
Also for the Rider men sophomore Brook Wilson (York, PA/Central York) was 48th in 26:41.94, senior Connor Szwetkowski (Middletown, DE/Caravel Academy) was 49th in 26:44.84, sophomore Connor Riley (Madison, NJ) placed 56th in 27:03.62 and junior David Paduani (Egg Harbor, NJ) placed 57th in 27:07.46.
Also for the Rider women, freshman Mackenzie Greenfield (Old Forge, PA/Holy Cross) finished 43rd in 23:31.46, junior Rae Santora (Douglasville, PA/Daniel Boone) placed 47th in 23:41.90, sophomore Katie Chinery (Whiting, NJ/Manchester Twp.) placed 54th in 24:07.61, sophomore Gabriella Vassalotti (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) finished 68th in 26:12.70, junior Lexie Taylor (Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) placed 69th in 27:28.59 and freshman Kristin Siegle (Estell Manor, NJ/Buena Regional) placed 70th in 27:42.04.
Iona won the men’s race with the top seven runners and won the women’s race with three in the top 10 and four in the top 15.
The Iona men have won every MAAC Championship race since 1991. Quinnipiac won the women’s race last year and finished second this year. The Iona women won 10 straight MAAC titles before last year.
Rider runs again November 11 in the Mid-Atlantic Regional at Penn State. “Personally I am always excited to go to Penn State,” said Hamer, a former All-American Nittany Lion. “The men are trending upward so they are excited to get back out on the course and try to best some teams that beat us today. Our women are continuing to make progress and hopefully we can have some of our younger runners continue to have success.”