posted 2012-10-24 12:19:18

Hunter Cross-Country Review

The Hawks run in Staten Island and New Jersey    

Stephie-Anne Duliepre

Staff Writer

On September 30th, the Hunter men’s and women’s cross-country teams went to Staten Island for their fourth race of the season. The College of Staten Island’s In- vitational was the Hawks’ second opportu- nity to compete against other members of the CUNY Athletic Conference. The race was a 5k for both the women and the men.

After a rainstorm the night before, the course was slick and muddy, but that was no problem for the Hawks, who are more than accustomed to running on imperfect surfaces. For the first mile, the course was very flat, but after the first mile, the course started to become very hilly, an element of the race that the Hawks hadn’t been prepared for. “I seriously did not see those hills coming,” said freshman Alyssa Locni- kar. Not many of the runners had known about the hills before the race, mostly due to a lack of specifications on the map, and as a result, hadn’t had a chance to mentally prepare for them.

After a very demanding race, both the men and women Hawks finished in 2nd place out of the sixteen women’s teams and thirteen men’s teams. On the women’s side, senior Lizzy Mahoney led the Hawks with a time of 20:17, which earned her 3rd place overall out of 128 runners. Hunter’s number two runner, junior Stephie-Anne Duliepre, just missed the cut off mark for medals as she crossed the finish line in 22:33, good for 11th place overall. Finishing third for the Hunter women was Shantel Peters with a time of 23:23, earning her 16th place. Close behind Peters, and round- ing out the top 5 for Hunter, were Mary Leong and Jenny Son, who crossed the finish line in 23rd and 28th places respectively.
Hunter’s 6th, 7th, and 8th place girls crossed the finish almost together, with Locnikar finishing in 25:25 for 40th place, and Daniela Pereira and Alexander Mar- tinolich both coming in at 25:33 to finish in 43rd and 44th places. Freshman Almeda Spahija closed the race for the lady Hawks, coming in 67th place overall with a time of 27:05 for her first race of the season.
Although the women were eventually recognized as the sole winners of 2nd place, there was a little bit of controversy concerning the results of the race. A previ- ous result had asserted that there was a tie between the Hawks and FIT, though that was quickly rectified and Hunter got its runner-up spot with 80 points, just 18 points behind rival Baruch College.
On the men’s side, sophomore Christian Rojas finished in 17:35, good enough for 3rd place overall out of 113 runners. Next up for the men were Justin Lee, Manny Grullon and Diego Buen sweeping the 14th, 15th and 16th spots with times of 18:52, 18:53 and 18:53.

“I’m dealing with some injuries right now, so I was trying to stay on the safe side,” said Lee, who has been a standout runner all season long.

Rounding out the top five for the Hawks was sophomore Richard Barbecho, who finished 63rd with a time of 21:34. Fol- lowing Barbecho, Javier Levy and Geovani Valerio crossed the finish very close, in 66th and 67th places consecutively, with times of 21:49 and 21:50 respectively. Sophomore Youseph Anwar closed the race for the Hunter men in 76th place at 22:58.
After the muddy, hilly run in Staten Is- land, the Hawks headed to the New Jersey Institute of Technology Invitational on Sunday, October 7th, where they faced nas- ty weather and stiff competition. “I was really surprised to see so many DI schools in the race,” said Mahoney, expressing the feeling of most DII/DIII schools who com- peted in the NJIT Invitational.

Nevertheless, the men and women Hawks braved the rain and early winter breezes for a chance to prove themselves once again. For the third week in a row, Mahoney finished 1st for the Hawks and 16th overall with a time of 19:20. Right behind her was Duliepre in 32nd place, with a time of 20:28, setting a personal best in the 5k. In 3rd place for Hunter was fresh- man Tinesha Thorne with a time of 22:08, followed closely by Leong, who crossed the line in 68th place with a time of 22:13.

On the men’s side, Lee made a come- back and crossed the finish line in 1st place for Hunter and 50th place overall out of 160 runners in the men’s 8k. Overall, the men finished 14th out of 17 teams respectively, a fair result seeing that many of the top men weren’t running.