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Cross country squads compete at America East Championships
Jelinek leads women's squad with 31st-place effort
October 29, 2011Tweet
ALBANY, N.Y.—Junior Vasili Papastrat placed ninth overall in the men’s race, highlighting the Binghamton cross country team’s performance at the America East Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the University of Albany. The Bearcat men placed fourth out of nine teams while the women came in sixth place.
After finishing 19th in last year’s meet, Papastrat covered the 8,000-meter course in a time of 24:52. By finishing in the top 10 of the race, he earned all-conference honors for the first time in his career. Papastrat is a 2009 graduate of nearby Binghamton High School.
“We are very happy for Vasili,” head coach Annette Acuff said. “One of his big goals this season was to finish in the top 10 at the conference meet. He went out very strong today and led our team really well.”
Although none of the other seven BU men’s runners had ever competed in an America East Cross Country meet, their inexperience was not evident on Saturday. Junior Anthony Gaetani, who also graduated from Binghamton High School in 2009, placed 15th over (25:08), freshman Colin Frost was 20th (25:13), junior Jason Santos was 22nd (25:16) and freshman Cal Michaels came in 24th (25:20). The span between Binghamton’s top five runners was just 28 seconds.
“Given the fact that we lost nine of our top 10 runners from last season to graduation, we are very happy with how our men raced today,” Acuff said. “Anthony run super for his first race and our top five runners all looked very solid.”
Riley Master of Maine won his second consecutive individual conference title, with a course-record time of 24:18. Albany and Boston tied for first in the team standings with 60 points. The Great Danes, however, won the head-to-head dual meet scoring (which is used to break ties) to capture their first-ever conference crown.
On the women’s side, Binghamton’s top runner was sophomore Caitlin Jelinek, who covered the 5,000-meter course in a time of 18:26. Junior Rachel Miura was 37th (18:36), graduate student Ashley Horton was 42nd (18:49.84) and junior Lindsay Raulli came in 43rd (18:49.85). The sixth-place finish is the Bearcat women’s best since 2008.
“Our women have struggled with injuries this year but were able to have a better meet than the past two years,” Acuff said. “They definitely improved today.”
Binghamton heads to the NCAA Northeast Regional Meet on Nov. 12 in Buffalo.
NOTE: Frost was the top overall freshman finisher in the men’s meet, marking the second time in the past three seasons that they Bearcats have posted the top freshman men’s finisher. In 2009, Jeff Martinez was 10th overall. Martinez, who was fifth in last year’s meet as a sophomore, is redshirting this season and will have two more cross country seasons of eligibility starting next fall ... the Binghamton men’s squad has now posted nine all-conference selections since 2008 and has placed among the top four teams in the conference each season. After coming in third in 2008, Binghamton won the meet in 2009 and was the runner-up last year.