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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Track Runs Over Competition

    Stony Brook started off their 2008 season with a bang. The men’s and women’s cross country team won both their respective races in dominating fashion in the Stony Brook Invitational last Friday.

    The women placed seven runners in the top ten of the 4,100-meter run, with Seawolves occupying the first six finishes. The men did equally as well, placing nine runners in the top 10, with four runners in the top spots.

    Looking for a dominating performance this year to justify the top ranking for the women by the America East Conference, the Seawolves ran with a determination that will soothe the naysayers. The Lady Seawolves were led by junior Jessica Hampson, from Smithtown, N.Y., who crossed first in a field consisting of four other universities. Hampson’s time of 14:03.42 led the pack, followed closely by the second place finisher, sophomore Holly Van Dalen, of Wanganui, New Zealand, who finished fourteen seconds later with a time of 14:17.81.

    Stony Brook’s domination did not stop there as four more Seawolves would inhabit the next four spots: Sophomore Lucy Van Dalen (14:47.62) from Wanganui, New Zealand, junior Laura Huet (15:07.16) from Carrickmines, Ireland, sophomore Caroline Cortes (15:31.71) of Woodmere, N.Y., and freshman Kristal Conklin (16:13.46) of Middletown, N.Y. Sophomore Leanne Skrabacz rounded out the top ten with an eighth place finish with a time of 16:54.49. From the first finish by Hampson, the next place occupied that was not a Seawolf was from Long Island University, who finished a full two minutes after Hampson.

    The men were placed second in the preseason poll by the America East Conference and after the powerful performance by the men’s team, the Seawolves look to prove that a second seed is no fluke. The men placed an astounding nine runners in the top 10 in last weeks Invitational.

    Sophomore Tim Hodge, of Tawa, New Zealand, placed first for the Seawolves with a time of 19:33.60, followed closely by his teammate, Daire Birmingham, a junior from Portmarnock, Ireland (19:35.42). Hodge and Birmingham were followed by Junior Alex Felce (Stroud, England) with a time of 19:53.42, good enough for third and junior Iain Whitfield, from Stroud, England, who crossed fourth at 20:23.14. The last five spots in the top ten were full of Seawolves as well as freshmen David Frankel and Daniel Sierra, sophomore Alex Varone, junior Kurt Wende, and freshman Gerard Harley finished in the fifth through tenth places, respectively.

    Coach Andy Ronan was particularly pleased with both his teams’ performances, knowing how important a strong opening is for a successful season. Next up for the Seawolves is the Fordham Invitational, where they will travel to the Van Cortlandt Park, in New York City this Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

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