Oct. 28, 2011
Siena Cross Country enjoyed one of the finest moments in recent program history Friday. The men ran to a seventh place finish while the women were slotted eighth in the 2011 MAAC Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Both the men's and women's squads each improved by two spots from their 2010 finish at the MAAC Championships. Additionally, the men had their highest MAAC finish since 2005 and ran the program's fastest time at Van Cortlandt Park in the past ten years.
"I am so proud of how both teams performed today," said head Coach Allison Wade. "We've had a lot of bumps in the road this season, but both teams really came together and collectively had their best races when it counted."
One of the most premier cross country program's in the country, Iona won both the men's and women's championships. The men, which entered the race ranked 10th nationally, won their 21st consecutive MAAC Championship while the women won their seventh straight.
The Gaels Leonard Korir was the men's individual champion, while fellow Gael Hollie Rowland won the women's race.
Siena Sophomore Brendan Gregg continued his strong season, leading the men's team and placing 25th overall individually with a time of 26:28.4. Gregg's time was the fastest any Siena men's competitor has run the Van Cortland Park course over the past ten years and shattered his personal best 8K time.
Ian Donnelly and Ryan Egan, who both returned to the course after missing the last two races due to injury, were the second and third Siena finishers respectively. Donnelly ran 43rd with a Van Cortlandt Park personal record time of 27:09.9, while Egan completed the race in 44th place with a time of 27:10.8.
On the women's side, sophomore Samantha D'Amato led the Siena pack and finished 36th overall with a time of 24:01.7 in the 5K. Newcomer and walk on graduate student Cara Riley, a former standout for the women's soccer program, finished second on the team in her first-ever collegiate race despite less than a month of cross country specific training. Riley ran in a time of 24:35.2 to place 44th overall.
Chrissy DelSanto (46th place - 24:40.9) and Chelsea Needham (47th place - 24:41.7) finished close behind in a well-balanced team effort.
The Saints aim to build upon their strong improvement when they return to the course of NCAA Northeast Regional Nov. 12 in Buffalo.