On October 30, the Monmouth University men and women’s cross country teams competed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Cross Country championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. This was the first time the conference meet was held in Disney World since 2016.
In addition to the team, Graduate Student Prisca Blamon from the Track and Field team and Juniors Claire Orr and Paige Diecidue from Golf assisted in guiding the championship. The three attended the annual MAAC SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee) conference, which had student-athletes represent all the teams in the conference.
The men’s team scored second place out of eleven, a repeat finish from the March 2021 cross country season. The Iona College men and women’s team finished first in both races. Senior Lou DiLaurenzio led the team finishing the 8k in 25:21 for 12th place.
“We’re very proud of the way we competed today at the MAAC Championships. The men got us started this morning and they executed our race plan to perfection. We wanted to run conservatively early on and then really close strong the last 2k,” said Head Coach Mike Nelson.
He noted, “That plan sounds easy to do but it takes an incredible amount of patience and confidence. Each one of them moved up a few spots and that was the difference.”
Following DiLaurenzio, Junior Cameron Janovic ran 25:27 for 15th and finishing near him was Senior James Hoffman in 18th. For the later points, Seniors Matt Bodon finished in 25:49 for 26th, followed by Shane Ainscoe in 28th and Carrington Retzios in 32nd.
On the women’s side, the team finished fourth out of eleven. Junior Sammi Ragenklint ran a phenomenal 2nd place finish in a 6k time of 21:03. Following her was Graduate Student Mackenzie Jones in 10th and Sophomore Katie Locker running 22:34.7 for 24th.
Monmouth went three in a row for places 29-31st, led by Sophomores Allie Pirentoni, Isabella Leak, and Marisa Kilgarriff. In addition, Freshman Rachel Mongeau finished 38th for 23:06 for a personal best.
Nelson noted, “The women also had a strong showing. I’m not sure if we’ve ever had two runners in the top ten. It was fun to watch Sammi be with the leaders and finish strong over the last mile. We were hoping to finish a little better as a team, but I thought we raced as well as we could on the day.”
After the meet at 7pm, the MAAC hosted a banquet for the teams and reserved a viewing section for the fireworks show at Epcot Theme Park.
At the banquet Lou DiLaurenzio, Cameron Janovic, Sammi Ragenklint, and Mackenzie Jones were honored as All-MAAC for finishing top fifteen in their races respectively. Freshman Luke Miller was awarded rookie of the meet for his performance.
Up next, the Hawks will compete at the NCAA Division 1 Mid-Atlantic Regional Meet on November 12 at Lehigh University. After regionals, the IC4A Meet in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx will be the team’s last invitational as the season soon comes to an end.