ELON, N.C. – The Elon University cross country programs swept the field today, Sept. 10, in the eighth annual Elon Invitational at the programs’ cross country course. Coralea Geraniotis captured the women’s 5K individual title to headline the Phoenix individuals.
“I thought both teams ran well today even though it was hot,” said Elon head cross country coach Nick Polk. “Our course is not necessarily the fastest course when it’s this hot and we added a couple more hills into the races today. Despite all those conditions, both teams ran well and you have to throw time out of the window and just see who competed well and place they were on the team.”
The Phoenix men edged out North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central for the team title in the 8K race. Elon tallied 20 points overall while the Aggies were the runner-up with 43 points followed by NCCU with 82.
Freshman Richie Kasper was Elon’s top finisher in the 8K race with his time of 27:07 as the runner-up. Fellow rookie Ian Mickool was third with his time of 27:26 while Michael Germinario was fourth at 27:39. Carlos Andino also claimed a top-five spot with a time of 27:41 while Justin Leopold rounded out the top-five scores with a sixth-place standing and a time of 27:43.
In the women’s 5K, Geraniotis won her first career race after the Orleans, Mass., native clocked a 18:48. Elon took the top-five positions in the women’s 5K with Brigid Brennan finishing second with a time of 18:56 and senior Shelby Cuddeback third at 19:03. Corey Weiss was next to follow with a time of 19:48 while rookie Molly Offstein closed out the top-five with a 20:17.
The maroon and gold women won the team title with 15 points. North Carolina A&T was second with 45 points followed by NCCU with 68. Both the Phoenix men’s and women’s squad competed only half of their full teams for the meet.
“We’re still a few weeks of putting the whole team together,” said Polk. “Breaking up the team (for two home meets) early on gives some people a chance to shine and gives others a chance to work through some things as we start the year. I’m looking forward to finally here soon putting the whole team on the same page and go towards the conference meet.”
Select members of the Phoenix will compete next at the Adidas XC Challenge hosted by NC State on Sept. 16.