The Berkeley College New York and New Jersey men's and women's cross country teams competed at the College of Staten Island Invitational at Clove Lakes Park on Sunday morning, September 13. The meet served as a positive experience for all Berkeley College's student-athletes.
The New Jersey women's team placed 13th amongst 13 participating schools, with Jennifer Zhanay finishing 61st and crossing the tape first for the Knights at a time of 29:44.7. Natalie Fernandez (70th place) was Berkeley's next runner to complete the course, as she clocked-in at 32:28.9. Massiel Portorreal (74th place, 32:43.5), Megan Montanez (76th place, 37:43.7), and Josephine Elliott (79th place, 40:44.6) rounding out the Knights' NJ female finishers.
On the men's side for New Jersey, Jeison Martinez finished 20th overall with a time of 19:49.3. Sean Smith crossed the tape 39th overall with a time of 21:49.6, and Leandro Contreras and Nikson Rodriguez finished 63rd overall (24:40.6) and 64th overall (24:41.6), respectively. New Jersey Head Coach Michael Lincoln gave his thoughts following the meet.
"This was a historic day for our women's program, as it was the first time the ladies scored as a team, so that was very encouraging to see," Lincoln said. "They enjoyed the experience and had a lot of fun. As for the men's team, Jeison and Sean did a phenomenal job today competing on a very challenging course, and Leandro and Nikson continue to improve. We are looking forward to the Bard Invitational on Saturday."
New York's men's and women's teams did not field enough runners to score as teams, but there were encouraging performances by the four runners who did participate for Head Coach Adam Rosen, as all of them recorded personal-bests for the season.
Freshman Hironori Kanzaki (37th place, 21:45 5K time, 7:00/mile pace) and 2nd year standout Majustice Wilson (50th place, 22:38 5K time, 7:17/mile pace) set the tone for New York's men's team, and newcomer Omari Alleyne (27:21) gave an equally gutsy performance as well. Angela Adams clocked-in at a time of 36:27 on the women's side. Following the meet, Berkeley College Head Coach Adam Rosen gave his thoughts.
"The effort put forth by our student-athletes today was inspirational, as they grinded it out and showed a lot of heart. Down the stretch, each of my runners gave it their very best and left it all out there on the course -- and as a coach you can't ask for more. I couldn't be more proud of this squad."
On the men's side, the College of Staten Island won the invitational, while Suffolk C.C. captured the women's meet.
All four of Berkeley College's cross country teams will be back in action on Saturday, September 19, as they will travel to Annadale-on-Hudson, NY to compete in the Bard College Invitational. The women's meet is scheduled to begin at noon, with the men's race getting underway at 12:45pm.