Men’s cross country anticipates successful season after victorious opening meet

As a team that often performs well and competes for national championships, NYU men’s cross country continuously faces high expectations. This year, the Violets are ranked 12th in the preseason polls by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. NYU boasts the second-highest ranking in the University Athletic Association, behind Washington University in St. Louis. After winning their first meet of the fall 2012 season, NYU’s distance runners are off to another promising season and should climb the ranks when they are updated on Sept. 12.

Even though senior co-captain Dylan Karten, who registered NYU’s best time in the 2011 Division III Championships, did not compete, the Violets were still able to pull off a strong victory at the Monmouth University Kickoff in Lincroft, N.J. The best NYU time was set by returning senior Kevin Bonilla, who ran six kilometers in 19:36, just eight seconds behind Albany University’s sophomore Chris Buchanan.

Bonilla stressed the importance of preparing for the season.

“Summer is a really important time to put in a lot of miles to build a strong base for the fall,” he said.

Bonilla also said living with teammates Kyle De Leon, Dave Knowles and Ross Wistar contributed to his readiness.

“We were there keeping each other focused, motivated and making sure we were running smart, quality miles,” Bonilla said.

The NYU men’s cross country’s season-opening victory is its first overall win since 2010. Even last year, when the Violets were able to extend a six-year streak of top-20 finishes by earning the 19th overall spot in the Division III Championships, the Violets finished the season without winning any meets.

If this victory is a sign of things to come, the Violets could sweep their division and be on the way to their second national title in five years.

Men’s cross country will compete on Saturday, Sept. 15 and celebrate Family and Alumni Day, which honors the team’s fans, family and alumni. A reception will take place at the Hilltop Picnic Area after the Monmouth Invitational in Holmdel, N.J. There will be a bus departing from Coles Sports Center at 8:15 a.m. and students can R.S.V.P. for the trip by emailing [email protected]

A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 6 print edition. Sebastien Van Heyningen is sports editor. Email him at [email protected]