Hofstra Athletics to launch inaugural NCAA track program
Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics
Hofstra Athletics is launching both men’s and women’s NCAA Division I indoor and outdoor track programs. It was announced on Wednesday, Feb. 27, that outdoor track will begin this spring and indoor track will begin next winter.
Both teams will be coached by current men’s and women’s cross country head coach Vince Giambanco, who will begin his sixth cross country season with the Pride in the fall.
“I am thrilled to be part of such an exciting time in Hofstra Athletics and Hofstra University history,” Giambanco said. “The addition of indoor and outdoor track will allow us the opportunity to bring in more outstanding student-athletes that will assist in the University’s mission. The addition of track will also strengthen our cross country programs and allow all to flourish.”
Coming off a record-setting cross country season, junior Alex Masai is surely a runner to look for in the upcoming track season. Last fall, Masai claimed Hofstra’s first-ever Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) cross country individual title, breaking the 8K school record with a time of 24:00.70. Masai was also selected as the 2018 CAA Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Teammates Steven Fiumefreddo and Paul Markovina are also two up-and-coming runners to watch.
On the women’s cross country team, freshman Sophia Masciarelli led the way all last season and isn’t slowing down, setting a 5K personal record just two weekends ago at the 2019 Boston University Last Chance Invitational indoor track meet.
“Competing in track will allow me to stay in race shape pretty much all year round. The speed work I will build from having a track team will help carry over to my next cross country season,” Masciarelli said.
For now, the program will remain more mid-distance and distance-based, focusing on races such as the 5K and 10K, as opposed to sprints.
“I am very excited to see how I race in the 10k. My goal [this season] is to just become a stronger and faster runner ... I want to gain more speed and strength, which means I am going to have to work very hard, which I am ready to do,” Masciarelli said.
“We are excited about the addition of indoor and outdoor track to our University’s athletic program,” Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr., who announced the news, said. “Coach Giambanco has done a tremendous job with our cross country programs over the last five years and we are confident he will do the same with our track teams. We are thankful for the support of President Stuart Rabinowitz and his belief and vision for Hofstra Athletics.”
The cross country team is very excited for the school to now have an official track program and have already begun practicing.
“When my coach announced it to our team at practice, I was ecstatic. I loved running track in high school and now I am so excited to be able to continue it on in college,” Masciarelli said.
The Pride will head to Stony Brook University on Saturday, March 23, for the first official track meet of the season.