Releases

For Immediate Release: September 7, 2006
Contact: David O'Brian (dobrian@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6478

2006 Binghamton Cross Country Previews: Bearcats open season with Binghamton Invitational on Sept. 9

The Binghamton men's and women's cross country squads open up their seasons on Saturday at the Binghamton Invitational. It will mark the first of six meets for the Bearcats this season.

The key meet of the year will be the America East Conference Championship on Oct. 28 at Maine. The women's team was fourth out of nine teams last season while the men's were eighth.

On Saturday, the Bearcats will square off against Columbia, Siena and the Colgate women's team. The men's 8,000 meter race starts at 10 a.m. while the women's 5,000 meter event begins at 11 a.m.


MEN'S OUTLOOK

In its sixth season on the NCAA Division I level, the Binghamton men's team appears to have the nucleus for a solid future. With a pair of quality recruiting seasons under their belts, the Bearcats are confident in their ability to climb the ranks in the America East Conference.

"This is the most talented and committed men's team we've had in my seven years here," head coach Annette Acuff said. "While we are still young, the potential and dedication is there. It is also the strongest team mentally that we have had.

Sophomores Adam Hill (Delmar, N.Y.) and Connor Martin (Fairport, N.Y.) are the top two returnees. Hill, the team MVP last season, won the Colgate Invitational and was the Bearcats' top runner in three of the six other races. Martin was the runner-up at the Colgate Invitational.

A pair of freshman, Craig Coon (Penfield, N.Y.) and Chris Gaube (Vestal, N.Y.) should make a significant impact this season. Coon placed sixth at the Class AA state meet and 30th at the New York Federation meet as a senior. Gaube won the Section 4A cross country title as a junior at nearby Vestal High School and placed third in the Section 4AA race in 2005.

Two other returnees who ranked among the top five last season are senior Jeff Herbert (Somerville, N.J.) and junior Mike Wlodarski (Syracuse, N.Y.). Freshman John Carroll (Ithaca, N.Y.) and Jonathan Peffley (Penfield, N.Y.) could also rank in the top five this year.

WOMEN'S OUTLOOK

The women's squad lost a pair of all-conference runners but return sophomore Katie Radzik (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) who is already the most accomplished Division I distance runner in school history. In her freshman season, she won a pair of races, placed a program-best third at the America East Conference Championships and earned All-East Region honors. Radzik was the Bearcats' top runner in every meet and was named the athletic department's Female Athlete of the Year.

"Katie was extremely consistent last year," Acuff said. "I'm excited to see what she can do with a year of experience and maturity. She trained even more this summer and is very confident in her abilities.

The top newcomer on the women's side is freshman Kelda Nelson (Hillsborough, N.J.), who placed fourth at the Skyline Conference Championships last fall with a 5K time of 18:45. The Skyline Conference is one of the most competitive conferences in New Jersey. In addition, she clocked a 5K time of 19:42 at the Shore Coaches' Meet, which was run on the toughest course in the state.

Senior Mary Tursi (Staten Island, N.Y.) was the squad's third runner in the final four meets last season. Sophomore Jaime Schulte (Tucson, Ariz) and freshman Stacy Meitzler (Athens, Pa.) also appear poised to be primed for solid seasons.

 

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