Cross-country off to hot start


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The men’s team are going for their 32nd MAAC title in a row this year, while the women are hoping to win their 6th in a row and 16th out of the last 17.  

Jason Piccolomini, Staff Writer

Iona’s cross-country teams have been powerhouses for the last few decades. 


In the school’s history, the Gaels have captured 36 MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Championships for the men’s team, and 16 MAAC Championships for the women’s team.  


Along with continuously winning the MAAC, the Gaels have competed in the NCAA Nationals Championships several times. In fact, last year was the first time in twenty years that the men’s team failed to qualify for the NCAA Nationals.  


The Gaels have gotten off to a hot start this season. On the men’s side, they took home a first-place finish at the 27th Annual Br. John “Paddy” Doyle Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park.  


Iona had four of the top six runners in the event: Joshua Dsouza in second, Damien Dilcher in third, Campbell Lee in fifth, and Jonathan DeSouza in sixth. Joshua DeSouza’s performance earned him MAAC Runner of the Week honors.  


The women left with a third-place finish and had three runners in the top-20: Madison Klein in seventh, Alexa Doe in 19th, and McKenna Arguien in 20th 


Days after the victory, Iona was ranked in the Top 30 on the NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll. They are the only team in the MAAC to be named in the poll and are right behind schools such as Alabama (25), Michigan (27), Michigan State (28), and Texas (29).  


Iona also ran at the Paul Short Run on Sept. 30. The men’s team secured the 23rd spot out of the 46 teams while the women finished 13th out of 46.  


Jamie Dee was Iona’s top male performer as he finished 51st out of more than 400 runners in the 8k Gold Race. Madison Klein was Iona’s top women performer finishing in 10th, and Gabrielle Toth was right behind her finishing in 19th out of around 400 runners in the 6k Brown Race.  


Jamie Gudyka, a junior on the women’s team, spoke about the team’s ability to repeat as MAAC Champions.  


“The team is looking strong, and while we lost some key runners, we have also had people step up,” Gudiya said. “Everyone has been working hard and we are excited to keep working over the next few weeks to get ready for our meets.”  


Next up, the Gaels will be running at the illustrious Wisconsin Outcome Invitational. Iona will look to keep this early season momentum going and eventually achieve the main goal of reaching the NCAA Nationals again.