College Cross Country
Broncs Win TCNJ Meet
HOPEWELL-The Rider men and women both finished first as the Broncs began the 2012 cross country season at the TCNJ Blue/Gold Classic, held at Rosedale Park.
The Rider men compiled 29 points to defeat host College of New Jersey (66) and Saint Joseph's (94).
"Since this is a 5K race we wanted to lurk back and run the first half pretty easy and then really get up and move over the second half and man-to-man we did a really good job of that," said Rider head coach Bob Hamer. "We have high expectations of this group this year."
The Rider women compiled 35 points, edging St. Joe's (38) and ahead of TCNJ (53). "The women as a whole ran really well," Hamer said.
Sophomore Anthony Dentino (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) finished first among the collegiate men and senior Megan Elgin (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks East) finished first among the collegiate women.
"Anthony ran a great race," Hamer said, "and Megan ran a really good race."
Dentino covered the 5,000m course in 15:25.10. "I felt pretty good," said Dentino, who also won this race last year as a freshman. "Coach wanted us to go out under control the first mile or so, almost like a tempo run, and then run the heck out of the last two miles. That was the plan so that's what we did."
Last year Dentino finished in 15:55, 30 seconds slower than this year. "That's a big improvement," Dentino said, "so I was really pleased with how it worked out."
Dentino was followed by senior Sean Donohue (Cliffwood Beach, NJ/Matawan) in 15:46.70, senior Greg Wesh (Horsham, PA/Hatboro-Horsham) in 15:49.30 and junior Corey O'Neill (Old Bridge, NJ/Old Bridge) in 15:49.90, as the Broncs finished 1-2-3-4.
Elgin covered the 5,000m course in 18:40. "She looked like she was very much under control," Hamer said. "She ran the race like the way I wanted her to run. She ran a lot faster than she did last year and it is a lot hotter today."
"I felt really good," said Elgin, who helped set the Rider record in the distance medley relay last spring. "I was a little nervous because of the heat but I felt pretty good. I had a solid summer and we just had a strong week of training."
"Meg had a great spring last year and has had a great summer of training," Hamer said. "I ran 24 seconds faster this year and I felt a lot stronger," Elgin said. "I'm coming off a solid spring and I'm healthy."
Rider senior Nicole Tassello (Suffern, NY/Suffern) finished sixth among collegiate runners in 19:14, while senior Jillian Shutt (Lawrenceville, PA/Williamson) was eighth in 19:23.60, senior Paige McAtee (Massapequa, NY/Massapequa) was ninth in 19:27.80 and sophomore Josephine Boyle (Pleasant Valley, NY/Arlington) was 11th in 19:39.40.
Several Rider and TCNJ alums ran in the race. Mike Soroko'12 was the overall first place finisher in 15:09.00 and Christian Gonzalez '11, the Rider 2011 Athlete of the Year, was third overall in 15:45.10.
"It was great for some of the alumni to come back," Hamer said. "It is good when they intermix with the team. It adds a little extra to the meet. They enjoyed themselves and they had a good experience."
The Broncs compete again September 8 at the Fordham Fiasco, held at Van Cortlandt State Park.
"That is one of my favorite courses," Elgin said. "It's challenging and very hilly but definitely one of my favorites. I'm looking forward to going back there next week."
"That can be a tough race because it can be hot and the guys will be going back to the full 8K distance," Hamer said.
"The longer the race the better for me," Dentino said, "being a 10K runner. Next week we're on a tough course so I'm really excited about that."
"It's a great opportunity for us to preview that course before the ECAC/IC4A Championships," Hamer said, "which are held there. See the course but more importantly see good competition like us, so we can compare ourselves and see where we are at."