Four meets into the season, the NYU men’s and women’s cross country teams are nationally ranked, 11th and 16th respectively. In the atlantic region, they are also ranked first and third.
“When we came in this season, none of us were quite sure what to expect,” said Dylan Karten, men’s team captain and CAS senior. “Since I got here, we had a lot to look back at.”
“Some of the work ethic was lost, and being back at square one has humbled us a little bit,” he said. “It made people work harder to get to the level we were once at. Now, there’s no taking it for granted.”
In their last meet, the Dickinson College Long and Short Invitational on Sept. 28, both sides beat teams that were originally ranked higher than the Violets. The women’s team finished first with combined scores from the 6-kilometer and 4-kilometer races, while the men finished second behind host Dickinson College with combined scores from the 8-kilometer and 4-kilometer races.
After recovering from a stress fracture over the summer, women’s team captain and CAS junior Emily Cousens’ first race was the 6k, where she finished second. Other notable racers were LSP sophomore Lily Corsaro in third and Gallatin senior Hannah Borenstein in fourth. In the 4k, Tisch junior Sarah Czuprynski finished third.
“I’m happy with my race last weekend,” Cousens said. “It was a slow course and my first race back, so I wasn’t too worried about the time. I’m happy to know that my strength is still there.”
On the men’s side, three athletes were in the top 10. Karten placed first and set an 8k course record, 25:46.3, at Big Spring High School. CAS senior Ross Wistar and Gallatin junior Sebastian Oja placed third and fourth respectively. In the 4k, CAS junior Dharan Kadiyala finished seventh.
Along with winning first and second individually, Karten and Cousens were named Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Metro/Upstate Runner of the Week for their performances at the Dickinson Long and Short Invitational.
Looking toward the future at the UAA Championship and NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship, the team hopes to continue its success and solidify its high ranks.
“We will be looking to compete hard and try to win the UAA meet,” head coach Nick McDonough said. “We are ranked second on both sides in the UAA right now. Regionals we will look to win, but more importantly finish in the top two or three to assure ourselves a trip to the NCAA final.”
Running at the NCAA National Championship is not new for the cross country team. The men’s team has qualified for NCAAs since 2006 and won the Division III National Championship in 2007. Since taking over the women’s team in 2008, McDonough helped lead the women’s team to NCAAs since 2009.
“I am extremely pleased by our teams’ cross country success, not only this year, but for most of the last decade,” director of athletics Christopher Bledsoe said. “The success we are having this year continues to demonstrate the hard work and dedication that McDonough and his student-athletes have been displaying through the years.”
The team will race at the NYC Metro Championships at Van Cortlandt Park on Oct. 11. The meet doubles as Family and Alumnae Day as well. Since this is an annual meet, the athletes look forward to comparing their times from last year on the home course.
“It’s fun to race there because we can compare our times to previous years,” Cousens said. “It’s a tough, fun course, and it’s Family and Alumnae Day so a lot of fans come out.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 8 print edition. Sydney Pereira is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]