By Jesse Savin, Special to The Chronicle
The Hofstra cross country men's and women's team finished eighth out of 13 squads at the Metropolitan Conference Championships last Friday in the Bronx.
While not the improved and impactful finish the Pride would have preferred, both top-ten finishes are an optimistic building block leading up to a heavy-hitting weekend that starts with the Penn State Nationals on the fourteenth and ends two days later with the St. John's Fall Festival in Jamaica, NY.
It was a big stage at Van Cortlandt Park and the top ten finishes certainly bodes well for improvement at the upcoming meets this weekend.
Friday's task did not daunt junior Daniel Rono who followed up his strong performance at the Iona Meet of Champions with another just like it, finishing nineteenth to lead all Hofstra men's runners.
It was his second outing in which he took home the team's best score, collecting 17 of the team's 243 total points.
Three other Hofstra runners placed in the top 100 for the men's squad, although Rono was the only men's runner in the top 20.
Freshman Jacob Malakoff finished at forty-seventh, while senior Fred Shatell and freshman Vic Palumbo placed eighty-first and ninety-ninth respectively. Rono will be looking to make his third consecutive top 20 finish when Hofstra arrives at College Park on Friday.
On the women's circuit, senior Brittany Rose also kept her hot streak from Iona going at the Conference Championships, leading the women's squad with a thirty-seventh place finish and collecting 33 of the team's 245 total points.
Hofstra had four other girls finish in the top 100 on its way to an eighth place team finish.
Senior Meghan McCloskey, who excelled at Iona, was the next best finisher at sixtieth.
Senior Kelly Lutz finished only ten seconds behind McCloskey at sixty-seventh, while sophomore Kristin Mathis and junior Cara Mattson finished next to each other at sixty-ninth and seventieth.
Mattson stayed optimistic, citing the fact that several runners posted "PR's," or Personal Bests, despite the team's less than ideal overall finish.
The top ten results for both squads was the silver lining at Van Cortlandt Park, but the upcoming weekend will demand that Hofstra brings it A-Game and post improved scores at Penn State this week.