The Manhattan College Cross Country Team Closes off the Season at Home

by Madalyn Johnson & Jessica McKenzie, Asst. A&E Editor & Staff Writer

The Manhattan College Cross Country team closed off the final race of the XC season at the ECAC Cross Country Championships in one of the Bronx’s most acclaimed parks, Van Cortlandt. Two sophomores, as well as a senior and freshman runner on the men’s team, competed to top off the cross country season, as well as to begin warming up for the upcoming races in the 2019 track season.

Runners on the MC men’s cross country team generally performed well in this season, competing in major college XC events including Marist Invite, Fordham Fiasco and Monmouth Henry Mercer Invite. Sophomore, Ryan Tiernay, has exceptionally been a huge standout. Competing in numerous races in the tri-state area, Tiernay has proved himself worthy of being a long-distance runner to look out for. Last year, opening his college running career, he finished in the top 20 at the Fordham Fiasco. He’s continued this impressive streak into his sophomore year, placing second overall in the cross country season opener at Marist Invite back in August. Additionally, the whole team has had their fair share of impressive victories, placing third at the Army West Point meet and second at the 2019 Metropolitan Championship in Van Cortlandt Park.

The women’s team also has had an outstanding impact on the reputation of Manhattan College’s running thus far in the 2019-2020 school year. The freshmen, specifically, have risen to the occasion with one of the top performers being Andria Scaglione, a native of Oceanside, N.Y., who earned herself a spot in the 2019 MAAC Championship and placed ninth in the women’s 6K race. Not only have multiple freshmen runners this season surpassed the expectation of an underclassman athlete, but two sisters, Andria along with one of her triplet siblings, Nicola Scaglione, have in such a short time excelled phenomenally with the college-level running adjustment.

All in all, the men’s team’s performance at the ECAC Cross Country Championships could be constituted as a sufficient close to the cross country season and as a reminder that more practice is in store for the next indoor track season. Senior Adam Alshoubeki was the first MC runner to finish the men’s 5K race, coming in 123rd, with sophomore Marc Carrera following right behind. Michael Crorkin, sophomore, stayed close with the pack as well, being the 127th runner to finish the race and freshman, Quemarri Williams, came in at 129th place.

Alshoubeki viewed the final race of the XC reason as a reflection of all the hard work, time and effort he’s put into his running as a Jasper athlete.

“Going into this race today specifically, I just kind of cleared my mind. I appreciated that I’ve been healthy all season, which usually is a challenge for me so that gave me a sense of confidence. So, I got on the line with my teammates with the mindset that this is my last race let’s just go out there,” he said.

Kelly Carroll, the assistant director of sports communication for Manhattan Athletics, took note of the freshmen’s performances on the women’s team as an example for how the cross country teams this season have dealt and evolved with the absence of some key senior runners from last year.

“Last year, on the women’s side too, there was a lot of senior leadership that left so this team had to grow really quickly. On the women’s side, they had a lot of freshmen talent which is really great,” Carroll said.

Based on the results from this season, Carroll commended the women lowerclassmen runners for their superb performances and continuing the success the cross country team maintained last season despite how hard the transition is from high-school athletics to college.

“I think it’s hard when you’re going to college. There’s a lot of transitioning, as a student-athlete, it’s double that,” Carroll explained.

“You’re not only trying to figure out classes and life away from home, but you’re trying to be a Division I athlete, which is really time-consuming and a tough transition from high school even if you are super talented. I think that they were able to come in and not really put that pressure on themselves, and surpass it, and they did a really great job.”

Kerri Gallagher is the head coach for the Manhattan College cross country team, as well as for the distance and mid-distance programs. Similar to Carroll, she feels the achievements of the cross country teams this season mainly had to do with the progressively, strong performances from the freshmen.

“The way we started the season and the way we ended the season are very, very different and I think a lot of that is because we have a pretty young team,” Gallagher said.

In the future, Gallagher hopes to utilize the runners’ experiences and results from the past cross country season as a learning lesson in how to constantly walk away from races on a positive note.

  “We’re really looking to utilize what we’ve learned this year and to establish a little more consistency, especially coming into the season. Hopefully, we’ll be dealing with a lot more sophomores and juniors, and the freshmen will kind of be part of the system already.”