COURTESY OF THE LANDMARK CONFERENCE
THE LANDMARK Conference Cross Country Championships were Saturday at Goucher College. The women’s team finished fourth and the men’s team finished sixth. The teams will finish their seasons Nov. 15 at the NCAA Mideast Championship in Newville.
Cross-country meet results rarely, if ever, tell the whole story.
We finished fourth and the men’s team finished sixth at the Landmark Conference Championships Saturday at Goucher College. Both teams expected to finish in the middle of the pack, and we did.
But as a member of the women’s team, I saw more than a mediocre finish by our teams.
I saw 20 runners who ran gutsy races after a season of injuries and illnesses. These are runners who have dedicated countless hours to training, spent invaluable time encouraging their teammates, and done everything they could think of to shave seconds off their race times and run faster in workouts.
I also saw the devastation of my teammates who could not run because of injury and felt their absence as we stepped to the line without them.
Senior Rachel Conniff led our team with a 17th place finish and a time of 24:19 for 6,000 meters. Cara Notarianni and Kelly Buccisano were close behind in 19th and 21st. Elizabeth Joyce finished next for us in 30th, I was 32nd, followed by Patricia Hoffman (35th), Abigail Roselli (47th), Megan Castaldi (49th), Taylor Ryan (53rd), Kathryn Hoffman (55th), Delaney Wallace (56th), Elaine House (57th) and Shannon McSherry (59th).
“Everyone stepped up and ran for one another,” Notarianni said. “Despite the injuries and illness this season, we still performed. We didn’t make any of that into excuses.”
Sophomore James Buckley led the men’s team, finishing 23rd and covering the 8,000-meter course in 28:26. David de Leon finished close behind in 33rd in 28:57. Next for the Royals were Schuyler Smith (48th), Corey Wasilnak (52nd), Nick Peragine (54th), Joseph Flanagan (59th) and Bill Burke (70th).
Buckley said the race was tough because Goucher’s course has long stretches of uneven terrain and long uphills. He added that regionals will be an opportunity for the team to race one more time before the season ends.
“I always think of conferences as the big meet and regionals as a last-chance race to run better times for more personal reasons,” he said.
Overall, both teams did the best they could with what they had. We put our hearts into the race for each other instead of giving up because we knew we would not win.
Elizabethtown College took home the men’s and women’s Landmark team titles in its first year in the conference.
We will compete at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship meet Nov. 15 at Big Spring High School in Newville.
Conferences was one of my last races as a college runner, and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of such a special team. I am proud of what we have accomplished, and I am proud to call these men and women my teammates. Although we didn’t exactly achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the season, we have all come so far since August, especially in becoming a family of athletes who care about each other, and that is a much more meaningful achievement.
Nov. 6, 2014