NYU men’s cross country is the National College Athletic Association Atlantic Regional Division III Champion. The Violets finished first at the championship held on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, N.Y.
The men’s cross country team has had a great season, consistently finishing in the top three of their tournaments. Most recently, the Violets finished second at UAA championship on Oct. 27 in Rochester, N.Y.
The regional championship had 44 teams competing, including the University of Rochester. NYU captured first with 50 points, followed by State University of New York at Geneseo in second with 59. SUNY Cortland finished in third place with 94 points, while host University of Rochester totaled 131 points for a fourth place finish.
Prior to the race, NYU was ranked second by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division III Poll in the Atlantic Region. SUNY Geneseo was ranked first.
“Coming into the race ranked second, we knew we had a chance to pull out a win over number one ranked SUNY Geneseo if we ran smart and to our abilities,” senior captain Kevin Bonilla said. “It was a tough, tough, hard-fought race, and every point and place mattered.”
The top two teams at regionals win automatic bids to the NCAA Division III Championships, while the other teams in all eight regions may be able to compete at Nationals if they receive one of the 16 at-large bids available.
“We really put it all out on the line, and it was great to see all our work this season pay off,” senior captain Dylan Karten said.
The Violets had three runners finish in the top five in the 297-person race. Karten finished second in the race with a time of 25:16.2. He was less than two seconds behind first place finisher senior Alex Brimstein of SUNY Geneseo (25:14.4). This is Brimstein’s second consecutive year as regional champion.
“It was really intense trading back and forth for the lead and the crowd was just nuts,” Karten said.
Bonilla placed fourth with a time of 25:28.4. Close behind Bonilla was sophomore Sebastian Oja in fifth with a time of 25:31.0.
“We have a strong pack of runners, and we were able to work together throughout this race to get this win,” Bonilla said.
The final two scorers for NYU were senior captain Dave Knowles in 11th place (25:48.8) and senior Kyle De Leon in 28th (26:12.3).
All five of the scorers will receive NCAA All-Region honors by having finished in the top 35.
Last year, NYU finished 19th at the National DIII Championship, with Karten finishing 43rd. The Violets have had national top-20 finishes for the last five years and a first place finish in 2007.
“We have been working very hard since June with Nationals on our mind,” Bonilla said.
“Nationals is one of the toughest races out there, and it’s really hard to know what will happen,” Karten said. “It definitely means a lot to me and my fellow seniors to win regionals.”
NYU will compete at NCAA DIII National Championships on Sat., Nov. 17, in Terre Haute, Ind.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 12 print edition. Mary Jane Dumankaya is a deputy sports editor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the previous version of this article, WSN incorrectly reported that the Violets the University Athletic Association Championships had 44 teams competing. In fact, 44 teams competed in the regional championship. WSN regrets the error.