Jasper Men Take Fourth, Women Fifth at MAAC Championships
ORLANDO, FL – The Manhattan College men’s and women’s cross country teams headed to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday morning looking to improve on last year’s showing. The Jaspers did more than that. The men took fourth in the team standings, their best result since 2009, while the women’s team placed fifth, its highest finish since 2008.
“They ran like they’ve been running all year. Tough,” Head Coach Kerri Gallagher said. “Today we saw again how important it is to run as a team. Some didn’t have their best day, and others stepped up big time. We have a lot to look forward to with this group. I’m very proud of the way we raced today, and I know we’re hungry for more.”
For the men, it’s been a team effort all season, and that was no different on Saturday. John Dove (Monroe, NY) was Manhattan’s top finisher. He completed the 8000-meter circuit in 25:25.39 to place 12th overall. Dove’s 12th-place showing was the best individual finish by a Jasper at the MAAC Championships since Tobias Lundgren was 10th in 2007.
Nick Matson (Clifton Park, NY) came in right behind Dove. He placed 13th in 25:26.04. Amir Khaghani (Bethesda, MD) finished 19th in a time of 25:40.70, while Jan Hoffmann (Tubeingen, Germany) was 27th in 25:55.49. Drew Reda (Matawan, NJ) took 38th place in 26:08.20, followed by Chad Maier (Melville, NY) in 43rd (26:17.85) and Christian McLaughlin (Allenhurst, NJ) in 46th (26:26.18).
With 109 points, the Jaspers ended up just seven points out of second in the team standings. Canisius had a team score of 102, while Marist was third with 104 points. Each of the top eight individual finishers was from Iona, as the Gaels captured their 26th consecutive conference championship.
Lisa Fajardo (Brooklyn, NY), who finished 13th last year, improved her position by one place in 2016. She ran 6000 meters in 22:07.58 to secure 12th place overall. Fajardo is the first Manhattan woman to earn a top 15 finish at consecutive MAAC Championships since Ellen Dobbin in 2007-08.
Caroline Ferri (Garden City, NY) placed 24th in 22:44.73, while Alexa Roda (Staten Island, NY) was 27th in 22:51.18. Kelly Gorman (South Amboy, NJ) (23:10.73) and Kaitlyn Smith (Effort, PA) (23:11.79), meanwhile, took 33rd and 34th, respectively. Sam Hoagland (Colts Neck, NJ) finished 52nd in 24:01.23, and Erin Spadaccini (Wilmington, DE) grabbed 55th place in 24:10.10.
Manhattan’s team score was 130, which put the Jaspers just eight points behind Canisius for fourth place. Iona edged defending champion Quinnipiac 49-51 for the MAAC title, while Monmouth was third with 97 points. Siobhan Quinn of Canisius was the individual winner.There are two meets remaining in the cross country season, both of which will take place at Van Cortlandt Park. Manhattan will participate in the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.