Jasper Men, Women Place Eighth at Metropolitan Championships
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - On a beautiful afternoon in Van Cortlandt Park, the Manhattan College men's and women's cross country teams competed in the annual Metropolitan Championships on Friday. Led by Mikael Rojeras (Sala, Sweden) the Jasper men finished eighth in the team standings. The Manhattan women also secured an eighth-place team finish.
Rojeras put together a very strong effort in the unseasonably warm temperatures. He finished the 8000 meters in 27:35.67, which was good for 29th place. Stephen Chantry (Williamsburg, Va.) was the next Jasper across the line, taking 40th in 28:04.43. Billy Wilkens (Kenmore, Wash.) placed 44th in 28:23.86, followed by Chris Laucella (Huntington Station, N.Y.), who had his best race in a Manhattan uniform. Laucella grabbed 46th place in a time of 28:27.76. Kevin O'Brien (Attleboro, Mass.) completed the Jaspers' top five. He took 50th place in 29:04.68. Nathan Kotch (Tappan, N.Y.) and AJ Hanifin (Long Valley, N.J.) crossed the line one after another. Kotch was 54th in 29:14.87, while Hanifin finished 55th in 29:17.09.
The Jaspers earned 209 points in the team standings to finish in eighth place. NYU notched a surprise team title after compiling 50 points.
Pacing the women's squad for the first time in her Manhattan career was Rachel Lottermann (Washington Township, N.J.). Lottermann placed 29th over the 5000-meter course, posting a time of 28:08.55. Following closely behind was Elizabeth Rosenberger (Ramsey, N.J.), who captured 35th place in 20:23.46. Alyssa Windle (Redlands, Calif.) finished in 20:42.49, good for 42nd place, while Johanna Petruski (Toms River, N.J.) earned 48th place with a time of 21:10.32. Janie Turek (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) just edged Erica Brady (Quincy, Mass.) for the Jaspers' fifth scoring spot. Turek placed 54th in 21:29.78, while Brady was 56th in 21:33.55. Alexandra Cappello (Scarsdale, N.Y.) came across the line in 59th place, completing the course in 21:41.99.
Manhattan was just edged by St. John's for seventh place in the team standings. The Jaspers collected 208 points, while the Red Storm finished with a score of 206. Columbia placed six runners in the top eight to easily capture the team title. The Lions, who entered the meet ranked 23rd in the nation, compiled 18 points.The Metropolitan Championships represented the start of the Jaspers' "championship season." Manhattan is now off until the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships on Oct. 27. The MAAC Championships, which will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., will be broadcast on ESPN3.