MARCY, N.Y. – The Gallaudet University men's and women's cross country teams are ready to compete at the 2013 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships hosted by SUNYIT this Saturday, Nov. 2, on the Wildcats campus course.
This year’s men’s event will feature 10 of the conference’s 12 member institutions. Gallaudet men’s cross-country team is led by sophomore Ivan Alfaro (Yakima, Wash.) and freshman Michael Clark (Portland, Ore.). Alfaro has finished first for the Bison in every meet this year and Clark has placed in the top three for Gallaudet in four of its five meets. Alfaro looks to build off of last year as he finished 22nd in the championship meet, one spot away from being named to the all-conference team. Last season, GU placed 8th overall at the NEAC championships.
The women’s field will include 12 NEAC member schools. Juniors Crystal Padilla (Riverside, Calif.) and Rachel Young (Leesburg, Va.) will lead the Bison women as they have finished in the top two for Gallaudet each meet except the first, where they both pulled out a top three finish. Last year, the Bison women also placed 8th overall at the NEAC championships.
"We are looking forward to a competitive meet on Saturday," said Gallaudet coach Mikaela Gardner. "Our student-athletes have already competed on this course, earlier this season, performed well. They are excited to wrap the season by improving their times on this particular course as well as season best times."
The women’s five-kilometer (3.1 miles) race is set to begin at 11 a.m., while the men’s eight-kilometer (4.96 miles) race will start at noon. The weather is expected to be mostly cloudy with a temperature of 50 degrees at the start of the race. Admission is free and an awards ceremony will be held in SUNYIT's Wildcat Field House shortly after the conclusion of the men's race.
The top five finishers for each squad will count towards their team’s total tally, with the best overall team score from each race then taking home the championship. SUNY Cobleskill is the defending champion on both sides. The first-place finisher of each race will be named the conference’s runner of the year, while the top 21 runners from each race will be named to the NEAC all-conference teams.
"If we race smart we hope to bring home an all-conference honor or two," said Gardner.