College Cross Country
Rider Men First, Women Second at TCNJ Invitational
PENNINGTON, NJ—The Rider men finished first ahead of The College of New Jersey and Saint Joseph’s University and the Rider women were second to host TCNJ at the Blue Gold Invitational Saturday at Rosedale Park.
For the Rider men, senior Anthony Dentino (Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) finished first, covering the season opening 3.1 mile course in 15:50. It marks the fourth consecutive year that Dentino was the first collegiate runner to finish the race.
“Dentino ran really well and he looks good coming off of summer training,” said head coach Bob Hamer. “He has big goals this year but we have a ways to go and I think he is on target for what we expect at this moment.”
Dentino is a two-time All-East and three-time All-MAAC harrier.
For the Rider women, senior Emily Ritter (Millsboro, DE/Sussex Tech) finished first overall, covering the 3.1 mile course in 18:59. “Emily ran a real nice race to get the win,” Hamer said. “She executed the race plan perfectly and then attacked over the last part of the race. She needs to be our leader on and off the course for us to be successful.”
Ritter finished second overall last year with a time of 19:05, which was 50 seconds faster than her sophomore year time.
Ritter holds Rider track & field records in the 3,000m, the 1500m, the 3,000m steeplechase and the indoor mile.
Also for the Rider men, junior Sam Knipper (Randolph, NJ/Randolph) was fourth overall in 16:11, senior Dylan Hallahan (Wrightstown, NJ/Northern Burlington Regional) was fifth in 16:12 and freshman Danniel Belay (Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg) was sixth in 16:15.
“The men ran well and raced in the packs that we had designed,” Hamer said. “I was real happy with their ability to increase their effort over the second half of the race and continue to race together. That will be our strength. The ability of our pack to race together after Dentino gets us a low stick.”
Also for the Rider women, junior Nicolette Mateescu (Kendall Park, NJ/South Brunswick) was the second collegiate finisher, third overall, with a clocking of 19:15. ““The women ran a nice race,” Hamer said. “Our strength will be with the low sticks of Emily and Niky.”
Sophomore Megan McGarrity (Philadelphia, PA/Saint Basil) was seventh overall, fifth among collegiate runners in 19:37. “Our gap is too big between our third and sixth runners,” Hamer said. “We will need to tighten the pack up with the remaining scores.”
The Rider men are picked to finish third in the MAAC and are currently ranked 14th in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
The Broncs compete again September 20 at the Monmouth Invitational. “Now we are going to have an opportunity to train for three weeks and prepare for the Monmouth Invite at Holmdel,” Hamer said. “This will be very important as Holmdel is the course for the MAAC Championship this year.”