Cross Country Finds Success at CAA Championship Meet

Monmouth’s Men and Women’s Cross Country team closed their regular season on Oct. 13 at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, where the men placed 15th and women, eighth. 

Junior Declan McDonnell led the men as he finished in sixth place with a time of 24:07.4. The Pennsylvania native has been a powerhouse runner for Monmouth, leading the men’s squad in every meet except one, in which he was second for the Monmouth men’s team. In the second to last regular season meet of the year, McDonnell paced Monmouth as the men competed in the Men’s Gold 8K race at the Paul Short Invitation, with a time of 24:43.2 and finishing 49th overall. 

At the ECAC/IC4A Championship, the Hawks had seven men finishers. In addition to McDonnell, junior Tennessee Tremain finished second for Monmouth and 80th overall with a time of 25:13.7. Senior Seb Reed finished with a time of 25:28.1, coming in third for Monmouth and 105th overall. Freshman Drew Bowker finished 115th overall and fourth for Monmouth with a time of 25:34.5. In 134th place overall and fifth for Monmouth was Aidan Gilmore, who finished in 25:43.0. Niko Ferrante finished with 26:13.5, coming in sixth for Monmouth and 203rd overall. Finishing with 26:26.6 was Thomas Schulz, coming in seventh for Monmouth and 226th overall. 

For the women’s, freshman Emily Simko finished with a time of 21:30.4 which placed her 22nd among 292 runners. Simko has led the women’s team in every match except for the first of the season, and as just a freshman, viewers can expect to see a lot of success in her collegiate career. The women overall finished in slightly higher standings than the men. 

According to Monmouth’s Athletic Website, Director of Track and Field/Cross Country and Head Coach Mike Nelson claimed, “I was pleased with how both groups competed today at Van Cortlandt Park. We had some disappointing performances at our last meet, and I felt like we bounced back strongly today. Declan McDonnell and Emily Simko ran terrific races to lead us. Their efforts earned them All-East honors. Now we turn our attention to the championship portion of the season. Our next meet will be the CAA Championship on October 27. I like the direction our teams are headed.” 

The Hawks then went on to compete in the CAA Championship on Oct. 27, and to no surprise, McDonnell once again led the men in the 8K finishing with a time of 24:34.60 and placing seventh out of 95. This performance earned him his first career CAA honors. In the 6K race, freshman Emily Simko led the women with a time of 21:44.50 and was recognized as All-CAA, as well. 

According to the Monmouth Athletic Website, Head Coach Nelson shared, “Overall, we were really pleased with the team’s results today at the CAA Championships. This was our best meet of the season. Emily Simko and Declan McDonnell raced smart and tough to earn All-CAA honors. It was very warm today and we instructed the runners to go out cautiously. They executed the race plan perfectly and we moved up throughout the races. One of our goals was to score less points than we did last year and we accomplished that goal. The women improved by 38 points and the men improved by 10 points. This meet will help us build our confidence as we move on to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional meet.” 

The Hawks prepare to travel to Bethlehem Pennsylvania on Friday, Nov. 10, to compete in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals at the Paul Short Course.