Season Starts Saturday
Cross Country Competes Saturday
Broncs/Lions/Hawks Run at Rosedale
PENNINGTON, NJ—The 2013 Rider University cross country season begins this Saturday with the annual TCNJ Blue/Gold Meet, held at Rosedale Park.
The Rider men begin the season ranked in the top 15 in the Region. “It is always a nice honor to be ranked early on,” said head coach Bob Hamer. “It shows that we are starting to get some recognition because we had a consistent level of success over the last couple of years. That is one of our goals, to be ranked in the top 15 at the end of the year.”
The men will be led by All-East junior Anthony Dentino. “Anthony has some big goals for himself this year,” Hamer said. “He has a legitimate chance to be one of the guys who can win the MAAC.”
Last year Dentino was the only non-Iona runner to finish in the top 10 in the MAAC Championships, placing fifth. “He has the tools and he works hard,” Hamer said.
The Rider women graduated four of their top seven runners, but return All-East graduate student Megan Elgin. “The last two years have been fantastic for Meg,” Hamer said. “She’s gotten better every season and we’re looking for that again this year. She’s been All-MAAC the last two years and has a great shot to do that again.”
The 5,000m season-opening race often features alums from Rider, TCNJ and Saint Joseph’s University competing with the varsity harriers. “After a tough week of camp it is good to start the season with a shorter race,” Hamer said. “Having the alums compete is great. It is a chance for them to meet the new faces and a chance for our runners to put a face with the historic names they’ve heard of from our past.”
Dentino (Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) has won this race the last two years, in 15:55 as a freshman and 15:25 last year.
Elgin also finished first among the women collegiate runners last year, covering the 3.1 miles in 18:40.
Other key Broncs include senior Corey O'Neill (Old Bridge, NJ) and junior Evan Cornell (Toms River East) for the men, and junior Emily Ritter (Millsboro, DE/Sussex Tech), sophomore Nicolette Mateescu (Kendall Park, NJ/South Brunswick) and junior Josephine Boyle (Pleasant Valley, NY/Arlington) for the women.
O’Neill was the third Bronc to finish both the MAAC and IC4A Championships in 2012, finishing 18th overall at the conference meet. “We’re looking for Corey to continue to improve as he has,” Hamer said.
Last year O’Neill placed fourth overall in this meet with TCNJ and St. Joseph’s. During the spring he competes in the steeplechase.
Cornell ran a 15:55 5K on the track during the spring.
Ritter was Rider’s second finisher at the NCAA Regional last year and finished 22nd overall at the MAAC Championships. “Emily really raised her game last track season,” Hamer said. “To have her working with Megan this year is great, for both of them.”
Last winter Ritter earned All-East honors in track in the indoor mile.
Mateescu placed in the top 25 in the MAAC XC Championships last fall as a rookie. “Nicolette had a great year as a freshman,” Hamer said.
Boyle was a member of the MAAC All-Academic team last year. “Josephine Boyle is another one who can step up and be there at the end,” Hamer said.