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Berkeley College's four cross country teams participate in Highlander XC Challenge at Branch Brook Park

Berkeley College's four cross country teams participate in Highlander XC Challenge at Branch Brook Park

The Berkeley College New York and New Jersey men's and women's cross country teams continued their 2015 campaigns on Saturday morning, participating in the Highlander XC Challenge hosted by NJIT at Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. On the New Jersey side, the state's women's team placed 20th out of 20 participating schools, while the men's team scored individually but not as a team. On the New York side, the Knights had some quality performances despite neither gender scoring as a squad.

On the women's side for New Jersey, Jennifer Zhanay as the first runner to finish for her team, as she crossed the tape at 27:07.69, a time that was good for 101st place amongst student-athletes who scored in the race. Megan Montanez placd 109th with a time of 29:45.02, and Natalie Fernandez (30:30.68, 111th), Alicia Morales (30:31.73, 112th), and Osmairy Cordero (33:19.01, 117th) rounded out the scoring for New Jersey's female team.

The Knights' men's team got a solid individual effort from Jeison Martinez who finished 60th overall with a time of 31:15.33. Additionally, Leandro Contreras recorded a 121st place overall finish with a time of 40:12.96. Following the meet, Head Coach Michael Lincoln gave his thoughts.

"Today was a day meant for staying home, with the weather being so rainy and dreary, but our runners came out and gave their all despite that, and I feel that says a lot about their determination and character," Lincoln said. "To see them step onto that course and remain focused was truly something special. I'm proud of them."

On the New York side for Berkeley, the Knights' reduced squad put in a strong effort. Representing the state's women's team were Nelchiarde Sylvain (31:19 5K time, 10:00 pace) and Angela Adams (33:15, 10:35 pace - a personal best). Additionally, sophomore Majustice Wilson led the way for the Men's team and ran a season's best (36:22 8K time, 7:16 pace). Following the race Head Coach Rosen spoke highly of his freshman runners and their continued improvement and solid team commitment.

"I was very pleased to see the student-athletes who participated for us give it everything that they had today," Rosen said. "Majustice' dedication is truly amazing, and it's encouraging to see Nelchiarde and Angela continue to show improvement."

St. Thomas Aquinas picked up the victory in the women's 5K meet, while Molloy solidified a victory during the men's 8K race.

Berkeley College's New York and New Jersey cross country teams will return to action on Sunday, as both squads will participate in the CCNY XC Classic at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The women's meet gets underway at 10:00am, with the men's race following at 11:00am.