Men’s cross country prove they are more than athletes

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The Queens College Cross Country team hopes to finish this season stronger than their last where they were third overall in the East Coast Conference.

This season’s roster is composed of eight runners including seniors. The season opened with the St. Johns/Hofstra Invitational at Oakdale, N.Y., where the team finished third. Seniors Kurt Samuel and Andrew Nadler finished in the top 10 list for overall men in Division Two and under.

Samuel finished 17th out of 87 runners, while Nadler and Tyler Bay, also a senior, finished 21st and 25th respectively.

“We practice every day, train hard, and prepare for every competition. We have a remarkable amount of talent on our team this season,” Samuel said.

A week later, on Sept. 13, the team competed at the LIU Post Invitational where the Knights went up against a number of top division schools such as Fordham University and LIU Post. They placed fifth with Bay and Nadler both reaching personal best scores and Samuel finishing 14th out of 120 runners.

On Oct. 4, they finished second out of 19 teams at the NJIT Invitational in Jersey City, N.J. Nadler led his team by placing seventh overall out of the 144 competitors and Samuel followed closely behind in 10th. Furthermore, sophomore Dillon Scibelli placed 24th, while Bay finished 25th.

So far, it has been an impressive start to the season for the Knights; however the team wants to do even more.

“We don’t get tired, we get hungry. While some runners are talented, QC runners are God-gifted. That’s what separates us from the rest of the East Coast Conference,” Nadler said.

Last season, The Knights finished third in the ECC Championships. In addition, they received the ECC Academic Teams of Excellence Awards for the 2013-2014 season. This award was presented to the team with the highest cumulative grade point average in their sport. This is the first time in the QC’s history that the men’s cross country team received this award.

“Being an athlete is beyond track and cross country. It’s not just physical but mental. You must be strategic on the field and off, which plays a very important role in the classroom. As a team, it is our responsibility to make sure we are all on top of our grades and no one falls behind” Samuel said.

He opened last season at the LIU Post Invitational with a time of 27:01 over 8,000 meters. In the following event he posted a 26:52 at the NJIT Highlander XC Challenge. He also had an incredible run at the ECC Championship with a new personal best of 26:01, placing seventh overall.

Head coach Jerry Wimberly enters his first year with cross country and believes this year’s lineup will be highly competitive in the division.

“We want to be the best. Cross country finished third last year and we definitely want to finish higher this year,” Wimberly said. “We are a competitive team and ultimately we want to win and finish the season as champions.”

The Knights will finish their season at the ECC Championship in Rochester, N.Y., on Saturday, Nov. 8.

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