Cross country teams ready to improve

Junior Nick Montesano (left) and senior Nick Oetinger (right) run in the 2012 Oswego State Invitational . Both runners are expected to have major impacts this season for the men’s cross country team.  (Photo provided by Chuck Perkins Photography)
Junior Nick Montesano (left) and senior Nick Oetinger (right) run in the 2012 Oswego State Invitational . Both runners are expected to have major impacts this season for the men’s cross country team. (Photo provided by Chuck Perkins Photography)

Fresh off successful 2012 seasons, both the Oswego State men’s and women’s cross country teams are looking to continue to improve this fall.

Last season, the women’s team finished 25th at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Cross Country Championships. The team lost only one senior at the end of last season and is expecting to have another strong season.

Stephanie Grimm begins her third season as head coach of both the Laker men’s and women’s cross country teams in 2013-14 and will have the challenge of leading both teams.

The Lakers women’s team is gaining two talented freshmen in Micaela Donabella and Sylvia Pericles, who they expect to make an impact this season along with returning veterans.

One team member that can make a big impact this year is sophomore Katie Laris, who holds the sixth fastest 5000m time since 1999.

Katie Bott will look to improve upon a stellar junior season this year and is one of only two seniors on the Lakers to provide experience and leadership for the nine under-classmen on the team.

The men’s 2012 season ended with a 26th place finish at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Cross Country Championships, but also the graduation of three seniors on the roster.

Even still, the men’s team should have a strong cast of veterans this year, with seven seniors to lead the team, including Damian Archie, Noah Carroll, Kyle Gilyard, Thorin Kane, Ryan Korzinski, Nick Oetinger and Ben Sweet.

Oswego State will also be gaining five talented freshmen in Noah Paccia, Nicholas Willoughby, Tyler Morris, Casey McAllister and Andrew Doxey.

One Laker expected to have a big impact this year is Archie, who holds the 15th fastest 8000m time since 1999. Archie will also have the task of being a veteran leader for the team, but will also have the support of the six other seniors on the team.

Both the men’s and women’s teams opened up their seasons at the SUNYIT Wildcat Invitational in Utica last weekend.

The men’s team performed well, as they placed six runners in the top 30 of the competition. Archie led the team with a seventh place finish and was followed by junior Nick Montesano, who finished eighth in the competition.

The women’s team also performed well, having placed seven runners in the top 30. Megan Murphy led the women’s team with a fourth place finish and Laris finished right behind her in fifth. Overall, Oswego State earned a fourth place finish in the tournament.

Oswego State will be looking to use its hot start to continue to improve throughout the season. With the men’s team set to lose seven seniors and the women’s team set to lose two, this may be the last chance for the veterans to make a splash at the collegiate level before graduation at the end of the year.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete this weekend in Oswego at the Hidden Fields. The men’s squad will host the Don Masterson Invitation this Saturday at 11:00 a.m., while the women’s team will host the Pat Peterson invitational at noon. Both races will take place at the Hidden Fields. Last year, both teams finished fourth at the home invitational.

While both squads will not host another tournament the rest of the season, there are other tournaments to keep an eye on. One race to watch out for the Lakers this year is the Houghton Highlander Invitational (Houghton College). The men’s team finished third at the invite, and the women’s team finished second last year.

Both Laker squads will also prepare to compete in the Geneseo Pre-Regionals race and the Lafayette Leopard Invitational to complete their season before the SUNYAC Championships begin later this season in early November.

Michael Nakoski
Contributing Writer
sports@oswegonian.com