By Samuel Brouwere
The Griff’s cross country team just keeps on running. The Griffs are approaching the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship that will be ran October 31 in Pennington, NJ. The Griff’s are coming off the Canisius Alumni Classic race at Delaware Park, in which they performed very well. The men’s team finished in second place, while the women’s team finished in third place for the race.
When asked about the Canisius Alumni Classic, head coach Nate Huckle said “I thought we performed very well. It was a good effort for us sandwiched in between the Paul Short Invitational and our upcoming MAAC Championships.” Coach Huckle, went on to add “I thought both teams showed up and performed very well. We worked on a lot of the things that we are going to have to perfect in order to reach our goals for the season.”
For the Griffs at the Canisius Alumni Classic, graduate student Chad Maloy took home the individual title for the race. Maloy finished with a time of (24:47.0) in the men’s 8k event. The individual title in this race gives Maloy his third individual title of the season.
When asked about his thoughts on the race, Maloy said “It was definitely a big confidence booster for me, especially being in front of the home crowd, having all of the parents and the Canisius athletes there. I really enjoyed all the fans out there and it was a good race overall.”
Other runners on the Griffs also performed very well in the race. Junior Brennan Root finished in eighth place in the event with a time of (25:22.8). Also, Senior Cooper Roach finished in ninth place in the event with a time of (25:24.8).
For the Griffs women’s team, freshman Siobhan Quinn finished in fifth place in the women’s 5k event at the Alumni Classic with a time of (18:19.8). Also sophomore Carlin Sullivan finished in fifteenth place with a time of (18:49.2).
The Griffs are approaching their biggest race of the season, the MAAC Championship. Coming off a race, in which the team performed really well, can definitely boost their confidence going into the MAAC Championship. While addressing the confidence level of the men’s team, coach Huckle said “I think we are very confident on both sides right now. I think the men know that they are one of the strongest teams in the MAAC and they definitely have the goal of seeing if they can press Iona this year.” Iona has won the MAAC Championship in the men’s race for the past 24 years. However, Canisius in the past two years has been the runner up to Iona. Huckle went on to add “We feel like we have second place wrapped up, but were not blind to the fact that Monmouth, Marist, and Siena are running very well right now. So we are confident but not overlooking our opponents. We are looking to go in and race very well.” Not only is the men’s team performing really well, but the confidence that they possess will really help them going into the MAAC Championship
Coach Huckle, then addressed the confidence level of the women’s team by saying “This is the most confident that I’ve seen them in my four years here. They really know that they’ve got a great team this year. They’ve got a couple of really good front-runners, Siobhan Quinn is running very well for us and they know that we are very deep back to our sixth and seventh position. They are displaying confidence that they haven’t had in the past and I think it really is going to help them out this year at the championship.” Iona has won the MAAC Championship for the women’s race the last 10 years. Last season the Griffs finished in sixth place overall. The team has every reason to be confident coming off a strong race and hopefully that confidence can carry over into the MAAC Championship.
The Griffs have been preparing and are exhibiting the right confident mental state moving into the MAAC Championship. When asked about his team’s preparation for the Championship, Maloy said “This is the bulk of the training right now, so we are getting in some hard work.” Then addressing the mental state of himself and his team, Maloy said “Mentally I think we are in a really good place. We went into the past couple races, working on some strategy and I think that has set us up really well mentally.” In 2014, Maloy finished in eighth place individually in the MAAC Championship. He will be vital to the Griffs as he has the experience and a resume of performing well in big races for the team.
The Griffs are performing very well this season and they appear to be in the right state physically and mentally for the MAAC Championship. Both of those things should translate over into the MAAC Championship and allow them to perform at the level they know they can.