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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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Cross Country looks to continue run of success

Stony Brook University is ready to kick off another sports year, and the cross-country teams, purveyors of past success, are ready to strive for a repeat performance, both athletic and academic, under Coach Andy Ronan.

“We’re not trying to out-do the past,” Ronan said. “We add some new people every year. The first goal is to integrate them with the returning runners.

“For the women, we want to defend our title. For the men, we want to challenge for the conference title. We hope to advance to the NCAA championship.”

With the first meet on September 4th in Stony Brook, Coach Ronan has been using his considerable experience–16 years, 10 at Stony Brook and six at Providence College, where he graduated in 1986–to prepare his group for competition running.

“Every season is different,” said Coach Ronan. “We’re evaluating where everyone is.”

Since his arrival at Stony Brook, Coach Ronan has brought many individual and team championships to the Seawolves. His cross-country teams have earned four America East individual championships, three METS individual championships, one ECAC individual championship and one America East team championship.

The women’s teams have finished third or better in the conference every year since 2002. Since 2004, the men have three top-three finishes.

Ronan won the America East coach of the year award for three years in a row, from 2005 to 2007.

Before arriving at Stony Brook, Coach Ronan assisted the Friars of Providence College to winning six Big East cross-country titles, one for every year. Ronan, a native of Wexford, Ireland, won four Big East championships while attending Providence.

Ronan said the most important benefit from his time with the Friars was the experience of a high level of NCAA competition..

“I was there at a successful time,” Ronan said. “You’re always learning.”

Ronan’s NCAA experience will come in handy in coaching Stony Brook’s star female running duo, the Van Dalen twins. Juniors Lucy and Holly Van Dalen both competed at the NCAA level last fall, earning all-conference and all-region honors.

The pair were named All-Americans during the spring track and field season.

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