Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wagner Seahawk Shootout: What's next

Our final competition of the 2016 calendar year is another indoor meet at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island -- the Wagner Seahawk Shootout on Friday. We added a second December meet with the idea of giving athletes an additional competition before the semester break. Well, given that Friday is the last day of classes before finals, most of our student-athletes cannot miss class and/or are swamped with end-of-semester academic responsibilities. As a result? We will have a very small group of athletes traveling to the meet. How small? Between 10 and 15 athletes ... total. Which is fine with us, we'll have some fun with it and then start focusing on the 2017 calendar year. Here is an order of events for Friday's meet, which starts at 2 p.m.

60-meter hurdles (final on time)
60-meter dash (final on time
Mile run
300-meter dash
1,000-meter run
SMR (200-200-400-800)
800-meter alumni race
600-meter dash
3,000-meter run
4x400 relay

You'll note some rarely run events for indoor college meets -- the 300, 600 and SMR. Hope to see you there. OK!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The dash between the dates

He was a friend, a mentor and a role model. No one did more for local road running and road racing than Pete Sanfilippo, who passed away at age 84 on Saturday morning, just hours before he was set to direct the 37th annual Knights of Columbus Holiday Run in his beloved hometown of Wappingers Falls. I’ve known Pete for more than 30 years. His handshake was firm, his staccato way of talking left you no doubt about his passion for everything in his life -- especially his directing road races. The man was loyal and loving to his family, his Knights of Columbus brothers, the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club (he was a “founding father”), his church and the village in which he lived his entire life. If the dash between the dates is indicative of the time you have on this earth, Pete maximized his 84 years. His was a truly great American life. There will never be another guy like him. Anyone who has run, or will run, a MHRRC race owes a debt of gratitude for the man in the Dodgers cap who was at hundreds and hundreds of finish lines through the years – including our very own Red Fox Trot 5km. Rest in peace, Pete. Long may you run. 

The student part of student-athletes

On Sunday night, as I was trying to get to the bottom of where a prospective student-athlete was with our current student-athletes, I was texting the men and this group selfie from Spencer revealed a hard-working study group of fine young student-athletes. Emphasis on student. Nicely done.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Metro Holiday Opener: Men's results and splits

Freshman Zach Ropes starts college career with a victory in the 800-meter run
Metro Holiday Season Opener
Friday, December 2, 2016
Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex
Staten Island, NY
Men’s results and splits
200-meter dash
4. Tim Johnson 22.64
10. Joe Cafaro 23.07
27. Josh Hindle 24.56
27. Santosh Krishnan 24.56
29. Justin Muccio 24.64
800-meter run
1-Zach Ropes 1:57.60
3. Brian Henderson 1:59.03
6. Nate Lungarini 2:02.20
7. Anthony Colasanto 2:02.47
10. Sami Ellougani 2:03.91
Mile run
15. Omar Perez 4:43.90
34.7, 67.9 (33.2), 1:40.9 (33.0), 2:15.5 (34.6), 3:28.9 (37.3), 4:06.3 (37.4), 4:43.90 (36.90)
18. Eamonn Beers 4:44.62
36.9, 71.2 (34.3), 1:46.9 (35.7), 2:23.0 (36.1), 2:58.7 (35.7), 3:34.7 (36.0), 4:10.7 (36.0), 4:44.62 (32.92)
3,000-meter run
6. Dan Hillman 9:08.73
33, 68 (35), 1:46 (38), 2:23 (37), 2:59 (36)
3:35 (36), 4:11 (36), 4:47 (36), 5:23 (36), 6:01 (38)
6:38 (37), 7:17 (39), 7:55 (38), 8:34 (39), 9:08.73 (34.73)
Kilometer splits: 2:59, 3:02, 3:07.73
10. Connor Levins 9:28.56
33, 69 (36), 1:47 (38), 2:24 (37), 2:59 (35)
3:37 (38), 4:14 (37), 4:52 (38), 5:30 (38), 6:09 (39)
6:50 (41), 7:30 (40), 8:11 (41), 8:49 (38), 9:28.56 (39.56)
Kilometer splits: 2:59, 3:10, 3:19.56
1,600-meter relay
4. Marist A (Josh Siegel 51.7, Zach Ropes 52.2, Nate Lungarini 53.5, Tim Johnson 52.9) 3:30.25
6. Marist B (Joe Cafaro 52.8, Sean Patterson 54.2, Santosh Krishnan 55.1, Justin Muccio 53.6) 3:36.21
3,200-meter relay

3. Marist (Drew Burns 1:59.8, Tanner Senius 2:03.3, Brian Henderson 2:05.4, Matthew Hawker 2:07.0) 8:15.80

Metro Holiday Opener: Women's results and splits

Metro Holiday Season Opener
Friday, December 2, 2016
Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex
Staten Island, NY
Women’s results and splits
60-meter dash
4. Ashley Haynes 7.92 *school record, old record 7.95 by Danielle Asaro in 2015
15. Lauren Adams 8.30
21. Abby Smith 8.48
200-meter dash
8. Ashley Haynes 26.16
12. Danisha Craig 26.49
20. Olivia Gage 27.46
21. Lauren Adams 27.55
28. Ericka Stewart 28.49
33. Emma Schweitzer 29.40
500-meter dash
10. Olivia Jaquith 1:21.20
800-meter run
3. Molly Weeks 2:27.93
35, 72 (37), 1:50 (38), 2:27.93 (37.93)
6. Jenn Horner 2:30.16
37, 71 (37), 1:50 (39), 2:30.16 (40.16)
11. Lauren Traina 2:42.37
36, 75 (39), 1:57 (42), 2:42.37 (45.37)
Mile run
10. Alyssa Hurlbut 5:27.88
40.8, 79.4 (38.5), 2:40.2 (40.9), 3:20.9 (40.7), 4:02.5 (41.6), 4:44.9 (42.4), 5:27.88 (42.98)
3,000-meter run
3. Nicki Nesi 10:18.65
37, 79 (42), 2:00 (41), 2:42 (42), 3:23 (41)
4:04 (41), 4:45 (41), 5:27 (42), 6:09 (42), 6:51 (42)
7:32 (41), 8:14 (42), 8:57 (43), 9:38 (41), 10:18.65 (40.65)
Kilometer splits: 3:23, 3:28, 3:27.65
4. Annie Gould 10:56.16
39, 81 (42), 2:04 (43), 2:47 (43), 3:30 (43)
4:13 (43), 4:57 (44), 5:41 (44), 6:25 (44), 7:10 (45)
7:55 (45), 8:40 (45), 9:27 (47), 10:12 (45), 10:56.16 (44.16)
Kilometer splits: 3:30, 3:40, 3:46.16
1,600-meter relay
6. Marist A (Danisha Craig 59.6, Debbie Boerke 62.5, Jenn Horner 62.9, Molly Weeks 62.1) 4:07.09

10. Marist B (Ericka Stewart 64.3, Olivia Jaquith 61.3, Emma Schweitzer 66.1, Abby Smith 66.2) 4:18.14

Metro Holiday Opener: School record for Ashley Haynes!

Ashley Haynes had a fast start to her senior year -- literally! In the first event of the first meet of the season, Ashley darted out of the blocks and sprinted to a time of 7.93 seconds in the trials of the 60-meter dash. This time eclipsed the school-record mark of 7.95 seconds set by Danielle Asaro two years ago. Then, in the finals, Ashley bolted from the blocks again, led for much of the race and wound up fourth overall in the finals with a time of 7.92 seconds, which knocked another 0.01 off her newly minted school record. And then! In the 200-meter dash, she placed eighth overall in a personal-record time of 26.16 seconds. Fast times for our super senior captain. Nicely done, Ash!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Metro Holiday Opener: Time schedule

Metro Holiday Opener
Ocean Breeze
Order of Events and Time Schedule
3 p.m.: 60-meter dash trials
3:25 p.m.: 60-meter hurdle trials
3:45 p.m.: Mile final
4 p.m.: 60 hurdle final
4:12 p.m.: 60 dash final
4:20 p.m.: 400 dash
4:45 p.m.: 500 dash
5 p.m.: 800 run
5:20 p.m.: 1,000 run
5:30 p.m.: 200 dash
6 p.m.: 3,000 run
6:30 p.m.: 4x800 relay
6:55 p.m.: DMR
7:15 p.m.: 4x400 relay

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What's next: Indoor track schedule

With the holiday weekend drawing to a close, we prepare to enter a more than five-month journey into track seasons – indoor and outdoor. The indoor track season starts on Friday on Staten Island. This year, we are doing two December meets. After the break, we return to Yale for the first time in several years, and then resume with our “normal” winter schedule of excellent meets. New this year: The MAAC meet is a full, two-day (night, really) meet at the Armory, with five hours of competition on both Saturday and Sunday night. Hope to see you at some of these events as we embark on track. Here’s the indoor track schedule.

Friday, December 2: Metro Invitational, Ocean Breeze
Friday, December 9: Wagner College Shootout, Ocean Breeze
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Saturday, January 14: Yale Collegiate Invitational
Friday, January 20: Gotham Cup, Ocean Breeze
Friday/Saturday, January 27-28: BU John Thomas (Terrier), Boston University                      
Friday, February 3: Metro Championships, Ocean Breeze
Friday/Saturday, February 10-11: BU David Hemery (Valentine), Boston University
Saturday/Sunday, February 18-19: MAAC Championships, Armory
Saturday, February 25: Fastrack Last Chance, Ocean Breeze
Saturday/Sunday, March 4-5: IC4A/ECAC Championships, Boston University

Friday, November 25, 2016

Wrapping up cross country

Now that our cross country season is about a week in the rearview mirror, we can reflect upon it and unpack some of the emotions. Cross country season is unlike the other seasons in that all of our athletes are converged on the same things on the same days – one race, one distance. Track seasons have their blessings as well, but by their nature they are different than XC. Our cross country journey lasted a little more than three months – from the beginning of preseason to the culmination at ECAC/IC4A. As I told the team afterwards, it is a three-month journey in which we see each other nearly every day for that time period – there are no breaks at all! In that regard, it is intense and intimate at the same time. We had our ups and downs, but the common vibe was of togetherness and strength.

The old football coach Bill Parcells was known to say “you are what your record says you are” and in that regard our seasons are ultimately judged by meet performances and results. Our men’s team had a workmanlike season – we were consistently strong in effort and result. Although we fell just short of some lofty goals, we “held serve” in a competitive conference and region, and for that we have much pride and satisfaction – although we always strive to be better. Our women’s team had many great moments, according to Coach Chuck, and we would agree with that. It is still mystifying to us as to why we fell very short of our goals in two championship meets, but it is sign of our character that we were able to bounce back in a huge way at ECACs. For this reason, we have much to look forward to; and, much to be thankful for, as this group established the tenor for current and future teams. The senior class pictured here had a lot to do with that. They have created an almost matter-of-fact environment of the right way to do things on a daily basis, and they have built upon it each year since entering as freshmen. To quote one of my favorite current songs, “Free on the Wing,” by Blackberry Smoke: “One love story’s over and another just begun.” On to track.

A different kind of Thanksgiving

As we work out way through middle age, the holidays begin to take on different meaning. I’m certain this will continue as our children grow older as well. For now, like many middle age folks, we straddle the generations – older and younger. This was a year of loss for us – my father, my wife’s uncle – and as a result, the holidays take on a different tenor. Thanksgiving always was an “Uncle Jimmy holiday,’’ so we were kind of at a loss as to what to do this year. Our niece, who attends Williams College, decided to spend the holiday with some college friends in northern New England, which made a lot of sense. This, however, added to our bewilderment. Then, over family dinner last Sunday night, a plan began to unfold. Oddly enough, one of my ideas was deemed acceptable – we would have our “Thanksgiving dinner” as a fancier family dinner, on Wednesday night. This freed up our Thanksgiving Day to visit my mother in New Jersey. We had cold cuts sandwiches in the soon-to-be-sold old house, and then started the process of packing up family belongings and weeding out things before the closing. It was odd, it was surreal, but we were all together, which is really all that matters around the holidays. In a year of loss, we are reminded of the many blessings we have – past, present and future – and thankful for each and every one of them. 

Rolek wedding

This is a week late, but the night before the IC4A/ECAC meet, we had the honor and joy to attend the wedding of Marist Running Alum Mike Rolek, shown here with his new bride Nicole, and surrounded by several of his Marist teammates, friends and spouses. These members of the 2007-2008 era Running Red Foxes have grown up quite nicely, with new additions (babies) seemingly each month and year. We are proud of them all.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Kelley Gould's awesome marathon debut: 3:26:37!

Congrats to Marist Running Alum Kelley Gould for her wonderful debut at the marathon distance on Sunday morning in Philadelphia. Kell completed the race in 3:26:37, earning a Boston Marathon qualifier for 2018. She ran a smart, negative split race in tough, windy conditions. Here are her splits:

10km: 50:25 (8:06 pace)
Half marathon: 1:44:58 (8:00 pace)
30km: 2:28:04 (7:56 pace)
Marathon: 3:36:37 (7:52 pace)

In other news! Kieran Stack, father of current freshman Conor Stack, had a strong race and BQ of his own with a 3:18:55.

And Marist Running Alum from the Dark Ages (1980s) Rick Hankey had a strong race in 3:48:47. Rick was a teammate of mine for a few years back then.

Photos are of Kelley after the race and her outstanding cheering squad.

Nicely done!

Four generations of Foxes

Thanks to Christine Coughlin for sharing this awesome photo from Saturday at an Albany Running Exchange event. These fantastic four Marist Running alums all happened to be on the same volunteer crew for the ARE event. From left: Chris (Chomps) McCloskey, Lisa (D'Aniello) Chase, Nick Webster and Christine. All were runners on the team at various points in the past, but now their lives have intersected through running. Pretty neat!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

ECAC/IC4A meet: Women's University results

ECAC Championships
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Women’s University Division, team standings
1-Monmouth 108, 2. Marist 109, 3. Northeastern 110, 4. Fordham 125, 5. Manhattan 131, 6. Sacred Heart 141, 7. St. Francis PA 169, 8. New Hampshire 223, 9. St. John’s 229, 10. Siena 243, 11. Bryant 294, 12. Central Connecticut 314, 13. Fairfield 429, 14. Canisius 432, 15. Seton Hall 470, 16. Colgate 474, 17. Robert Morris 551, 18. NJIT 710, 19. Wagner INC
Women’s University, 5km individual results
11. Ali Bartolotta 19:04 *All-ECAC
14. Emily Burns 19:10 *All-ECAC
22. Elizabeth Wasserman 19:19 *All-ECAC
26. Shea Bohan 19:24
36. Mariah Christian 19:36
46. Christine Gambell 19:48
52. Jordan Casey 19:55
54. Denise Grohn 19:58
65. Jenna Robinson 20:04
88. Boushra Belkhir 20:24
89. Brianne Vess 20:27
93. Roxy Novo 20:35
111. Bryn Gorberg 20:59
115. Alyssa Lafave 21:02
133. Hannah Albert 21:30
176 finishers


What a thrilling day for our women's team. After less than expected results at our two previous championship meets, our ladies put together an amazing team effort today, culminating in a scintillating 2nd-place finish. What a race! The first three teams were separated by one point each! Amazing! Monmouth 108, Marist 109, Northeastern 110. WOW! Very proud of the resilience of this group. Results to follow ...

ECAC/IC4A meet: Men's University results

IC4A Championships
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Men’s University Division, Team standings
1-Northeastern 67, 2. Fordham 89, 3. Rutgers 91, 4. Marist 112, 5. Siena 143, 6. Sacred Heart 180, 7. Rider 210, 8. Temple 259, 9. New Hampshire 267, 10. St. Francis PA 306, 11. UMass 324, 12. Seton Hall 363, 13. Monmouth 369, 14. Fairfield 384, 15. Canisius 415, 16. Holy Cross 536, 17. Bryant 565, 18. NJIT 589, 19. Colgate 613, 20. Wagner INC
Men’s University Division, 5-mile race
7. Matt Baffuto 26:04 *IC4A All-East
12. Spencer Johnson 26:10 *IC4A All-East
23. Dietrich Mosel 26:40 *IC4A All-East
28. Saad Baig 26:46
45. Mike Kennedy 27:07
50. Steven Rizzo 27:14
53. Riley Hughes 27:15
55. Joe Miller 27:16
56. Palmer Weimann 27:16
61. Stefan Morton 27:25
62. Chris Rivas 27:26
73. Brian Edsall 27:37
76. Steven Morrison 27:38
88. Matt Adolph 27:50
190 finishers

ECAC/IC4A meet: Men's coaches results

IC4A Championships
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Men’s Coaches (Open) race, 5 miles
4. Connor Levins 28:09
5. Elias Platanias 28:12
6. Conor Stack 28:16
7. Will Duggan 28:20
10. Eamonn Beers 28:37
11. Zach Toner 28:42
13. Will Esposito 28:54
15. Dan Hillman 28:59
20. Dom Fortino 29:56
22. Eddie White 30:12
24. Jake Hensler 30:36
25. Jalyn Alvarez 30:56

29 finishers

ECAC/IC4A meet: Women's Coaches results

ECAC Championships
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Women’s Coaches (Open) race, 5 kilometers
2. Emily Franko 20:54.1
3. Olivia Lappas 21:06.2
6. Kerri-Anne Flynn 21:27.6
8. Kim Schwartz 21:48.3
10. Jackie Bunce 22:10.8
11. Taylor Mueller 22:28.8
15. Kristi Licursi 23:02.4
19. Shannon Gildea 23:49.0

23 finishers

Thursday, November 17, 2016

ECAC/IC4A race information

Saturday's season-ending cross country meet is at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Here is the race information for our teams.

Women's Open 5km race: 9:15 a.m.
Men's Open 5-mile race: 9:30 a.m.
Men's University 5-mile race: 11:30 a.m.
Women's University 5km race: 12:15 p.m.

The weather is looking decent and we are hoping for a good day. Hope to see you there. OK!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Warms their hearts ...

The saga of the team jackets has been an ongoing undercurrent of conversation among our men’s cross country team this fall. It started the first day of preseason, when all the gear was handed out. Gear handout day is like Christmas morning for our athletes. In playing the role of Santa, I also noted that heavier “winter coats” out of the Nike baseball catalog (they’re called “Dugout Jackets”) were on back order till October. The subject was left alone for a month. Then, the last week of September, on the first few cold mornings, the rumblings started. “Coach. When are those jackets coming in?” “Coach. Any word on those coats?” There were far more queries about this piece of outer apparel then, say, the purpose of our fartleks or Farm Lane pushes or tempo runs.

The calendar flipped to October. The crescendo of questions about the whereabouts of said jackets grew louder and louder, into a cacophony of wanting and wishing … and ultimately whining. “Coach. Jackets. Back order. You said. October. When. Wait. Are they warm? Do they have HOODS? October. Back order. Jackets. Coach.” A call to our retailer and the word was “a few more weeks.” The background noise continued as the mornings grew chillier. Then, the call arrived, ironically enough, when we were in Florida for the MAAC Championships – 80 degrees and sunny, and the subject is winter coats: Bad news and good news. Bad news, Nike screwed up the inventory, coats aren’t available till the spring! As my blood pressure began creeping up, the good news was that there were similar coats available right away, a more expensive version but you’ll get charged the same as the cheaper jackets. “Do you want a sample, Pete, see what they look like?” NO. Are they red? Do they say “Marist track” on them? OK. Good. Order them. Ship them. Right away. Get these guys off my BACK already.

The riotous behavior calmed down with the anticipation of the newer, fancier coats. Finally, they arrived. Five big boxes, on the afternoon we returned from the NCAA Regionals, on Friday. Neat. I can hand them out after long run on Saturday. I texted a few of my more persistent jacket stalkers. “Coats are in.” The text replies were instantaneous: “Can we come and get them NOW?” No. “Can you take a picture of one of them?” No. I offered to take a picture of the five unopened boxes, and that shut them up. After Saturday’s long run, the guys came zooming into the racquetball court to get their jackets. “How was the long run, guys?” “Sore from the race yesterday?” “Sore from the hill workout yesterday?” “Anybody hear about state meet results?” Silence. Their focus was keen: They were rummaging through the boxes, trying to find the perfect size. Kids on Christmas morning.

The picture above is of sophomore guys in the Foy house. They love their new jackets. The team loves their new jackets. They will be warm this winter. With the way the long-range forecast is looking, they’ll need them. Finally.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

NCAA Regionals: Additional thoughts

A few parting thoughts from the NCAA Regional meet yesterday at Van Cortlandt Park:

--The day at Van Cortlandt Park started with a pleasant surprise visit from Marist Track/XC Royalty Girma Segni, who still lives in Kingsbridge, about a mile away from Van Cortlandt. Girma was a multiple school record holder during his time at Marist, and he still holds the VCP school record for 5 miles as well as the indoor 5km mark. Although none of our current athletes had met him, they sure knew about it and viewed him with a mix of reverence and awe. They know of his legacy, and a huge picture of him racing is outside my office in McCann. One by one, the men were introduced to Girma or introduced themselves to him. He talked to them, took an interest in their training and racing, and even imparted some wisdom as to how to race at the famed course. Having him there was a treat and it showed our athletes the connectivity of past, current and future generations of Running Red Foxes. He’s one of the greatest we’ve ever had, for sure. We hope to see him again next week for the season ending IC4A/ECAC meet back at Van Cortlandt.
--Our men equaled the 2015 performance at this meet, almost to the point total. While we were slightly disappointed to have just missed out on 15th place, we were thrilled with the effort in this highly competitive field. The sentiment is similar to what we felt after the MAAC Championships two weeks prior at Disney: Fell just short of our very aggressive goal, but proud of the effort and the execution of the race. Glass half full, for sure.
--The regional meet is a pressure cooker atmosphere unlike even the MAAC Championships, because of the sheer number of teams on the starting line – 41 for men, 40 for women. Trying to gauge how your team is doing is very difficult. I try to count places as best as possible. But nothing can prepare you for THIS: When the men came out of the back the second time, around the halfway point of the 10km race, I’m looking beyond the lead pack for our lead runner, Matt Baffuto. Hmm. Where IS he. Where IS he? Oh. Wait. There he is. In the lead pack, the place we’d least expect to find him. LEADING THE RACE. Huh? What’s the big IDEA? Yeah. Not the smartest of moves, but the early pace was slow and Matt was feeling it, tasting it. Of course, he didn’t maintain it, but his finishing time was a PR (not that times matter, but that’s impressive) and his finishing place was the best we’ve had in four years, since Quimes DelaCruz’s 26th place finish in 2012. Good stuff.
--Once again, unfortunately, our women’s team performance was below what we were expecting for sure. We are all searching for answers as to why these past two meets have not gone according to plan. We know it’s not a lack of effort. This is a great group of ladies. They work hard, do what we ask of them, and care an awful lot about what they do. The results just have not mirrored that, and for that we are truly bummed. However! We do have one more meet in which to end the season on a positive note, and that is what we are aiming for, next Saturday at the ECAC Championships.
--Speaking of that: It’s next Saturday, November 19, at Van Cortlandt Park. Race times for our team: women’s open 5km, 9:15 a.m.; men’s open 5-mile, 9:30 a.m.; men’s University 5-mile, 11:30 a.m.; women’s University 5km, 12:15 p.m. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

NCAA Regionals: Men's results

NCAA Northeast Regional
Friday, November 11, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Men’s team standings
1-Syracuse 29, 2. Iona 65, 3. Dartmouth 108, 4. Providence 109, 5. Columbia 112, 6. Cornell 252, 7. Brown 257, 8. Buffalo 300, 9. Yale 313, 10. Boston U 338, 11. Stony Brook 356, 12. Army West Point 412, 13. Manhattan 438, 14. Northeastern 439, 15. Canisius 466, 16. Marist 471, 17. Connecticut 471, 18. Maine 474, 19. Boston College 551, 20. Vermont 555, 21. Fordham 556, 22. Quinnipiac 558, 23. Central Connecticut 583, 24. Albany 529, 25. Siena 661, 26. Sacred Heart 667, 27. New Hampshire 591, 28. UMass Amherst 692, 29. Binghamton 763, 30. Fairfield 858, 31. Holy Cross 930, 32. Hofstra 944, 33. Bryant 977, 34. Colgate 1001, 35. St. Bonaventure 1105, INC-Wagner, St. Francis, Hartford, Rhode Island, Harvard, Niagara
Men’s individual results, 10,000-meter course
53. Matt Baffuto 31:54.57
96. Spencer Johnson 32:34.11
99. Saad Baig 32:36.81
111. Dietrich Mosel 32:44.71
126. Steven Rizzo 32:58.30
155. Riley Hughes 33:28.41
183. Palmer Weimann 33:57.49
245 finishers

NCAA Regionals: Women's results

NCAA Northeast Regional
Friday, November 11, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Women’s team standings
1-Providence 50, 2. Harvard 71, 3. Yale 126, 4. Dartmouth 167, 5. Cornell 177, 6. Columbia 200, 7. Brown 208, 8. Syracuse 256, 9. Iona 289, 10. Stony Brook 314, 11. New Hampshire 319, 12. Buffalo 354, 13. Boston College 371, 14. Quinnipiac 431, 15. Connecticut 446, 16. Vermont 474, 17. Northeastern 519, 18. Army West Point 562, 19. Holy Cross 569, 20. UMass Amherst 591, 21. Boston U 592, 22. Albany 622, 23. Canisius 651, 24. Fordham 679, 25. Marist 696, 26. Manhattan 710, 27. St. John’s 713, 28. Siena 731, 29. Sacred Heart 775, 30. Binghamton 816, 31. Central Connecticut 851, 32. Bryant 913, 33. Hofstra 953, 34. Fairfield 1054, 35. Colgate 1059, 36. Maine 1064, 37. St. Bonaventure 1210, INC-St. Francis, Hartford, Wagner
Women’s individual results, 6,000-meter course
92. Mara Schiffhauer 22:15.10
115. Alexandra Bartolotta 22:29.10
154. Elizabeth Wasserman 22:55.40
165. Christine Gambell 23:01.50
173. Emily Burns 23:12.20
195. Shea Bohan 23:31.60
206. Mariah Christian 23:43.70
254 finishers

NCAA Regionals today

Sorry for not posting sooner. Our NCAA Northeast Regional meet is today at Van Cortlandt Park. Women 6km race at 11 a.m., men 10km race at noon. Hope to see you there. Will post results later today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Oh. Did I mention I’m teaching two journalism classes this semester? Perhaps I did. Can’t remember. Working on a foggy 2-hours sleep after watching the election mayhem of last night (why couldn’t I have fallen asleep?). Anyway! This election has been quite a “teaching moment” for all of us in higher education. Journalism classes, especially, have relevance. Talking politics in any area is a tricky topic at best, so I tried to walk that narrow path in the middle (which, in this election, didn’t really exist). Being a Numbers Guy, though, the one bastion of neutrality that I could find (at least, in my opinion) was Nate Silver’s excellent analytics site called What I like about that site is it’s mostly analytics and number crunching. Of course, politics has taken over the subject of late, but they do a lot with sports as well. Check it out.

So anyway! In my Tuesday night Sports Reporting class a few weeks ago, I noted and it’s percentage chance of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, after they had trailed the Cleveland Indians, 3 games to 1. That percentage chance, at that time, was hovering around 25 to 30 percent. Which, at that very moment, was identical to Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidential election. And so, that night, as a Sports Guy, I posited that the Cubs were the best team in baseball throughout the regular season (103 wins!), their pitching was lined up, their lineup was ripe to start to bash the ball, and that by all means they were capable of coming back and winning the World Series. Definitely within the realm of possibility, which I then correlated to the presidential election, where most indicators were that Trump was a longshot at best, a landslide loser at worst. And so I went out on a limb that night and said, “Cubs come back and win the World Series; Trump comes back and wins the White House.” It should be noted that these outcomes were not necessarily my preference, but that I felt they were both very much in the realm of possibility – based on the analytics and based on pure gut feeling.

A member of my class texted me this morning, reminding me of my prediction, which of course I had long forgotten. Groggy from the all-night election coverage, I simply nodded my head and moved on with my day. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

NYC Marathon: Kara Lightowler, 3:10:17

Congrats to Kara Lightowler, proudly sporting the Marist Alumni Racing Team singlet, for her solid finish at NYC yesterday. Her time above garnered her 150th place overall, 41st in her age group. Nicely done! (Photo collage poached from Facebook). Note also: This was just weeks after her 3:06:56 clocking at Chicago. Amazing. 

NYC Marathon: Luke Shane, 2:47:17

Congrats to Luke Shane, proudly sporting the Marist Alumni Racing Team singlet, for his solid finish at NYC yesterday. His time above garnered him 220th place overall, 47th in his age group. Nicely done!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Katie Miale: Stellar debut at 20km racewalk

Congrats to sophomore Katie Miale for her fantastic, marvelous and excellent debut at 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) in the racewalk. She placed fourth at the USATF Junior Championship for that distance this morning on Long Island. Thanks to Marist Running Alum Mark Valentino and current sophomore Hannah Albert for providing up-to-date splits, photos and commentary all morning. It made us feel like we were there. And a facetime chat via cell phone allowed us to see Katie at the finish and admonish her to get up and walk around -- seemingly cruel advice after she just got done racewalking for more than two hours! Katie's performance was truly remarkable. She racewalked faster than her USATF Junior Championships pace from June in Clovis, California -- and she DOUBLED the race distance. Quite a trick. We believe that this longer race distance is perfectly suited to her training and racing strengths. Nicely done, Katie!

USATF Junior Championships, 20km
Hauppauge, Long Island, 2km paved loop
20km: 2:04:39.91 (fourth place), 10:02 pace
Start to 2km: 12:15.65 (9:51 pace)
2km to 4km: 12:29.84 (10:03 pace)
4km to 6km: 12:23.69 (9:58 pace)
6km to 8km: 12:14.67 (9:51 pace)
8km to 10km: 12:23.49 (9:58 pace)
10km to 12km: 12:13.71 (9:50 pace)
12km to 14km: 12:26.19 (10:00 pace)
14km to 16km: 12:29.65 (10:03 pace)
16km to 18km: 13:01.03 (10:28 pace)
18km to 20km: 12:41.99 (10:12 pace)
Final time: 2:04:39.91 (10:02 pace)

Not quite as long a wait as the Cubs, but still neat

Long-time coaches often refer to their "coaching tree" -- former athletes of theirs who become coaches themselves. I've never quite gotten around to putting together a "coaching tree" but I'm certainly proud of the many "branches" on it, a tree that continues to grow after 26 years of sending graduates into the real world. It's safe to say that the first "branch" of that coaching tree was our good friend Mr. Bucket (some folks in the community know him as "David Swift"), who is in his 20th year as XC/track coach at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie. It was a long time ago, but I seem to remember him asking to borrow a tie for his interview there, and I'm not sure he even needed it to get the job -- a job he's done quite well, actually. He has spawned generations of excellent runners. On Friday at the Section 9, Class C Championship race at Bear Mountain, Bucket's Spackenkill girls team won the title -- the first sectional title for them in 16 years. The photo to the left is of the 2000 championship team. Bucket's Facebook post had a "then and now" with the 2016 team; this year's team is not included in this post as it might be construed as some sort of "recruiting violation" by central scrutinizers who might check such things. Anyway! Congrats to the team, and to an old coach whose new tricks still seem to be working. And hey: He got that repeat title in far less time than the Chicago Cubs, right? Nicely done!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Suffolk County Half Marathon

Congrats to Marist Running Alum Mark Valentino for his strong showing at last Sunday’s Suffolk County Half Marathon. Tino finished second out of 1,172 finishers in 1:16:34.8 (5:50 pace), running what appeared to be a negative-split effort. Tino will be the first to admit that his training has not been optimal for a fast half-marathon performance. But alas! It was. Nicely done! Also at the race, Tino’s mom, Louise Valentino, placed 297th out of 697 in the 5-kilometer race in 32:05.31. For those keeping score at home, this means Louise was ahead of 400 other entrants. Pretty neat!

Once every 108 years …

Wednesday’s Game 7 of the World Series had it all, and will go down as a game we will talk about forever. Thanks to loyal alum and even more loyal blog follower Marty McGowan and his awesome e-mail chain for the following synchronistic events that tie together 1908 (the last time the Cubs won the World Series) to 2016: Along with the Cubs, in 2016 we had our first US gold medalist in the men’s Olympic 1,500-meter run (Matthew Centrowitz) since 1908 and that year also was the first time the 26.2-mile distance was run for the marathon. Marty surmised that perhaps young Centro should get invited to the Cubs’ victory parade? Not likely, but not a bad thought … 

A different kind of endurance

He was my coach. For a short time, the second semester of my freshman year at Marist, the young man – who throughout our entire adult lives I would refer to as “Young James” (which now is quite ironic) – coached our small, ragtag group of men’s distance runners during the winter and spring of 1983. He wasn’t much older than us, still in his prime as a runner, with a great running resume to his credit. He only stayed for those few months before moving on, but in that short time together, we formed a lot of great memories – some of which cannot be repeated here. Jimmy taught us a lot about running. He was the first person to instill in us the very basic concept that to be great at this sport – or, at the very least, as good as you could be – you had to train twice a day. That’s still a concept that some young runners don’t quite grasp, but it surely is elemental to success at the collegiate level (or any level, really). Like anyone who’s ever coached here, he struggled with finding ways to train distance runners in the mid-Hudson Valley winter. I remember one time, he had us run over to the Vassar College golf course, which was covered with about two feet of snow, and we did high knee drills and running for several miles, and then we ran back. Hey, you got to get creative sometimes.

Young James turned 60 on Wednesday. How can this be? Oh. It’s pretty simple. The calendar doesn’t lie. Jimmy’s 60. The week prior, a close mutual friend mentioned that there would be a small celebration for Jimmy’s birthday on Wednesday night. My immediate reaction was, “Um, uh, geez, Wednesday night, in Fishkill, so much going on, not sure I can make it …” Then I thought to myself, “come on, man, it’s Jimmy! You rarely see him. Figure it out!” I checked with Heidi. There’s always stuff going on. This kid’s gotta go there, drop offs, pick ups, meetings, recruiting calls, etc. It’s so easy to make an excuse why you can’t do something; but sometimes, you gotta make the effort to get there – 60’s a big one. Heidi’s great to me in so many ways, but especially in helping me overcome inertia to get out and do stuff like this. My default state is to put on my pajama pants, sit at my laptop and do work until I fall asleep.

The conversation around the restaurant table focused on old times and great memories, but also on the current state of our lives. In a funny, meandering way, our lives have intersected again. Jimmy’s Godson is now a freshman on our team – he’s “Uncle Jimmy” to our young runner. It is our sincere hope that more than 30 years later, Young James will once again be at Marist track meets on a regular basis. We talked about old training runs and races. Jimmy returned to the area after a few years, and we ran hundreds of miles together. The talk turned also turned to our current ailments. All of us have had surgeries in the recent past – plates and screws inserted, soft tissue injuries sewed up. Smart phone pictures were not of family members but rather of ER visits and surgical X-rays. We all compared styles of our reading glasses. Oh yeah. We all have reading glasses. I guess this is what you do at 60th birthday parties.

There was a lot of nostalgia, but interestingly no regrets. A lot of guys in our era, during our younger days, we trained long and hard – week after week, month after month, year after year. Some have scars to prove it, all have creaky joints that remind us each and every morning of what we did to ourselves back when we were young. But one guy in the group, the one with the most scars, said it best. He doesn’t regret a second of it all. It was all good, even when it wasn’t all good. We’re all still moving in some fashion – running, jogging, walking, swimming, cycling. Our competitive racing days are in the past, but we have the shared memories and most importantly the shared friendships that have gotten us to this 60th birthday celebration. Endurance comes in all forms. When it was time to leave, I hugged Young James (not so young anymore), told him I loved him and hoped that he would come to our meets in the coming months and years. No matter what, it’s good to celebrate a lifetime of memories, enduring friendships, while we’re still young enough to smile and laugh about them – hopefully that will be the case for many years to come. 

Photos from Disney

Thanks to Charlie Ropes (father of freshman Zachary Ropes) for taking wonderful pictures at the MAAC Championships at Disney. Here is a link to the photos.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Violet Avenue School community service: Foxy time

Along with the crew team and the swim team, eight of our athletes took part in a community service assembly at Violet Avenue School, just up the hill from Marist. Our old friend Mrs. Qatani summoned our teams and asked if Shooter the Fox could make an appearance. I had the perfect person to be Shooter, but strict departmental rules prohibit me from saying who it was. However! He was a hit on stage (as you can see) and all our athletes did a great job in promoting reading among the K through 5 crowd as part of their PARP (Parents As Reading Partners) program. Nicely done!

Monday, October 31, 2016

MAAC XC at Disney: Wrapping it up

 We arrived home late last night/early on Halloween morning after a long and enjoyable stay in Disney for our athletes. Obviously, we are down there to race a championship meet. But, it is Disney, and the experience of the weekend is one that they won’t soon forget. The Disney trip has never been a personal favorite, but again it makes great memories for our athletes. And that’s what and who it is about. As far as the actual championship races went, we discussed that in a quick post-race post back on Saturday afternoon – the men’s finish was fantastic, despite falling just shy of the coveted second-place finish to Iona; the women’s finish was less than expected, but certainly not due to lack of effort. The MAAC meet is a pressure cooker – unlike other sports that have “regular seasons,” we are judged on our conference standings based on one race. Fair or unfair, that’s the deal. At this time of year, in this sport, you are judged by how fast and how well you can get five runners to cross a finish line. Harsh assessment? Maybe. But, those are the parameters. We have two more championship meets. We will continue to grind it out every day in the hopes of posting championship level performances at the NCAA Regionals and at the ECAC/IC4As.

(Note: Thanks to Martha Weimann, Palmer's mom, for providing photos)

MAAC XC at Disney: Mass on the grass

One of the great highlights of the weekend was having our good friend, Father Richard LaMorte, with us at the MAAC Championships. Padre has retired from Marist, but he remains a friend to us and to our program. He was able to coordinate some family travel around our championships, and we were grateful to have him along for the ride. On Sunday morning, after the team’s long run and as we were preparing to check out, he offered to say a Mass for some of our athletes. We gathered on the lawn outside of our hotel rooms, sat on towels (the grass was still wet with morning dew) and Padre said Mass for us. Again, it was great having him with us for the weekend, and we are hopeful he will attend other meets in the coming seasons.

MAAC XC at Disney: Charismatic tube socks?

So the MAAC Cross Country meet was broadcast live on ESPN3. The day before, they did interviews with top runners from each team as well as some head coaches. One notorious MAAC head coach – the only MAAC coach to have been at all five of these Disney/MAAC Championships – was interviewed. That would be me. I joked with the fine ESPN folks that I had a “good face for radio” and that they should consider interviewing some other, more relevant people. So anyway, they went ahead and interviewed me. The usual questions. I gave the usual answers. Finally, the last question: “Coach. So. What’s the deal with the tube socks?” Really. Really?

Anyway, I just watched the broadcast of the men’s race last night; I will try to watch the women’s race later. They used exactly zero footage from that interview. That’s fine. It happens. I’m OK with that. However! During the live broadcast, the cameras spotted me out on the course. Exhorting my runners. Yeah. I was wearing my tube socks. The commentators made reference to them and referred to me as the “charismatic” coach at Marist. This, of course, is a broadcast first: The words “charismatic” and “tube socks” in the same segment. Nicely done!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

MAAC XC at Disney: First place in the classroom

Once again, your Running (and Studying) Red Foxes led the way on the MAAC All-Academic Team, with 24 women and 20 men making the squad. Not all are pictured from last night's awards banquet, because we did not travel with the entire roster. We are proud of this accomplishment. Neat.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

MAAC XC at Disney: Men's results

MAAC Cross Country Championships
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Men’s team standings
1-Iona 15, 2-Canisius 102, 3-Marist 104, 4-Manhattan 109, 5-Siena 141, 6-Monmouth 158, 7-Quinnipiac 175, 8-Rider 208, 9-Fairfield 223, 10-Niagara 308, 11-St. Peter’s 365
Men’s individual results, 8,000-meter course
11. Matt Baffuto 25:21.81 *All-MAAC
22. Dietrich Mosel 25:42.15
25. Spencer Johnson 25:46.47
27. Zachary Ropes 25:50.07 *All-Rookie
29. Riley Hughes 25:52.13
40. Steven Rizzo 26:06.20
44. Chris Rivas 26:08.36
45. Palmer Weimann 26:09.74
50. Stefan Morton 26:16.20
57. Matt Adolph 26:32.13
58. Joe Miller 26:32.92
64. Mike Kennedy 26:42.30
69. Saad Baig 26:53.19
80. Brian Edsall 27:12.83
83. Alex Hogue 27:16.60
84. Steve Morrison 27:18.80
102. Pat Hickey 28:08.66
137 finishers

MAAC XC at Disney: Women's results

MAAC Cross Country Championships
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Women’s team standings
1-Iona 49, 2. Quinnipiac 51, 3. Monmouth 97, 4. Canisius 122, 5. Manhattan 130, 6. Marist 140, 7. Siena 142, 8. Rider 214, 9. Fairfield 244, 10. Niagara 315, 11. St. Peter’s 354
Women’s individual results, 6,000-meter course
11. Mara Schiffhauer 22:04.92 *All-MAAC
24. Alexandra Bartolotta 22:43.15 *All-Rookie
31. Emily Burns 22:56.70
41. Denise Grohn 23:18.13
44. Mariah Christian 23:23.41
45. Christine Gambell 23:24.88
47. Elizabeth Wasserman 23:26.13
48. Jordan Casey 23:27.73
58. Roxy Novo 23:45.03
62. Bryn Gorberg 23:51.92
66. Shea Bohan 23:57.76
70. Brianne Vess 24:04.74
77. Jenna Robinson 24:13.17
84. Bianca Luparello 24:25.50
131 finishers

MAAC XC at Disney: Our MAAC Championship history

MAAC Championships history, men
1997: 6th place, 149 points (VCP)
1998: 2nd place, 70 points (VCP)
: 3rd place, 102 points (VCP)
2000: 4th place, 91 points (Disney)
2001: 3rd place, 69 points (VCP)
2002: 4th place, 91 points (VCP)
2003: 2nd place, 60 points (VCP)
2004: 3rd place, 77 points (Disney)
2005: 2nd place, 73 points (VCP)
2006: 2nd place, 52 points* (VCP)
2007: 2nd place, 61 points (VCP)
2008: 2nd place, 55 points (Disney)
2009: 2nd place, 57 points (VCP)
2010: 2nd place, 53 points (Hammonasset)
2011: 2nd place, 66 points (VCP)
2012: 2nd place, 80 points (Disney)
2013: 6th place, 151 points (VCP)
2014: 4th place, 113 points (Holmdel)
2015: 2nd place, 93 points (Rosedale/Rider)
2016: 3rd place, 104 points (Disney)
*lowest championship point total in school history
bold = best finish in team history

MAAC Championships history, women
1997: 4th place, 103 points (VCP)
1998: 1st place, 39 points* (VCP)
1999: 1st place (tie), 41 points (VCP)
2000: 1st place, 42 points (Disney)

2001: 3rd place, 93 points (VCP)
2002: 5th place, 114 points (VCP)
2003: 5th place (tie) 102 points (VCP)
2004: 1st place, 40 points (Disney)
2005: 3rd place, 83 points (VCP)
2006: 2nd place, 87 points (VCP)
2007: 4th place, 115 points (VCP)
2008: 3rd place, 78 points (Disney)
2009: 2nd place, 56 points (VCP)
2010: 4th place, 106 points (Hammonasset)
2011: 2nd place, 60 points (VCP)
2012: 2nd place, 65 points (Disney)
2013: 3rd place, 109 points (VCP)
2014: 3rd place, 93 points (Holmdel)
2015: 5th place, 122 points (Rosedale/Rider)
2016: 6th place, 140 points (Disney)
*lowest championship point total in school history
bold = best finish in team history

MAAC XC at Disney: "MAAColades"

Congratulations to Matt Baffuto and Mara Schiffhauer for garnering "All-MAAC" designation by being in the top-15 overall. This is the second year in a row for Mara; for Matt, he is our first top-15 finisher in four years -- since Quimes DelaCruz and Ken Walshak were able to do that. In addition! For the first time, the MAAC designated an "All-Rookie" team to the top five freshmen in each race. Zachary Ropes and Alexandra Bartolotta were able to run their way onto those teams. We are proud of them, and we are so happy they are running for us.

MAAC XC at Disney: Initial thoughts

Just getting back to the hotel room after a long and emotional morning at Disney's Wide World of Sports. Our men's team got 3rd out of 11 teams in the MAAC, an outstanding showing. We were two points shy of second place, which is excruciating. But we are so proud of the effort, top to bottom. Our women placed 6th out of 11 teams in the MAAC, in an extremely competitive race. The final placement is disappointing for us, but we are very proud of the effort. We had two all-MAAC (top 15) finishers -- Matt Baffuto and Mara Schiffhauer. Matt was the first all-MAAC runner in four years on the men's side. We had two all-rookie runners, the first year they awarded them to the top-5 freshmen -- Zachary Ropes and Ali Bartolotta. We are proud of them all. Results and more thoughts later.