Cross country finding stride after second meet


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Cross country finished as the top team in the Northeast Region last year.

Giovanni Paolo Tagliafierro, Sports Editor

The Iona men and women’s cross-country team’s 2021 season is underway, with junior Lachlan Wellington taking first in their most recent race at the Br. John “Paddy” Doyle Meet of Champions in the Bronx on Friday.  

Wellington led the pack for the Gaels with a time of 25:18.07 in the men’s 8K. It was his first race of the 2021 campaign. Sophomore Cosmina Spiridon was the top finisher for the women’s team, placing 49th in the 5K with a time of 20:19.5.  

Iona, who entered four men’s runners and two women’s runners into the field of 295, did not have five finishers for either race, meaning they could not place.  

Iona’s other four finishers included senior Campbell Lee, who finished in seventh place with a time of 25:57.7, along with sophomores Nick Sinofsky and Dante Ubriaco. Sophomore Jamie Gudyka ran as the only other women’s runner and placed 85th 

The field for both races included 13 teams, three of which were Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponents in Fairfield State, Monmouth and Quinnipiac.  

The meet comes nearly two weeks after the teams’ first race of the season at the Marist Invitational, where the Gaels placed in second out of six teams in the men’s 6K. The women’s team only registered four finishers and did not place.  

The men’s team was led by junior Nick Hunziker’s first place finish, edging out Wagner’s William Cuthbertson by two seconds. Fellow junior Nick Soldevere came in right behind for a third-place finish. Junior Peter Schulten, Sinofsky and sophomore T.J. Harkin closed out the top five for the Gaels.  

Iona finished with a 49-point performance, 14 points off of Central Connecticut’s 35. Their 13 second difference between their first and fifth runner, known as a spread in cross country, dominated Iona’s 1:01.  

Junior Madison Klein finished at the top of the women’s team, placing 10th overall with a time of 19:05.3 in the 5K. Spiridon was next with a 19:55.4 to notch her 24th place, while senior Olivia Lazarou and Gudkya rounded out the women’s finishers.  

These teams both carry high expectations coming into the season, with the men’s team being named the unanimous favorite in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll and the women’s team receiving 10 of 11 first-place votes. The men are fighting for their 30th consecutive MAAC title this season, while the women look to make it five conference chips in a row.