NEWARK, Del. – Sophomore Nick Ciolkowski of the Elon University men’s cross country team became the first member of the program to capture two conference individual titles as the Phoenix cross country programs competed at the Colonial Athletic Association Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the White Clay Creek State Park.
Ciolkowski clocked a time of 25:08.10 in the men’s 8K race – nearly 13 seconds faster than the runner-up – and was the Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet for the second year in a row. Overall, the sophomore helped the Phoenix men to a third-place standing with 84 points. William & Mary won the meet for the 17th straight year with 26 points while Northeastern was the runner-up with 46.
“The men’s team is a young group,” said Elon head coach Nick Polk. “Eight of the 10 guys that ran were competing in their first CAA Championship (meet). I thought they ran a controlled and mature race. Of course, very happy with Nick’s first-place finish. Thought he ran smart and confident and it showed that he did a lot of training that helped him improved a ton over the last year.”
In the women’s 6K race, the Phoenix was also third for the second straight year with 66 points. William & Mary won the championship for the fifth straight season with 34 total points while James Madison was second with 47.
“For the women, disappointing results,” said Polk. “We had a few very good performances, but just did not put the seven together that we needed to. All the credit to William & Mary and James Madison, who both had great races and stepped up and we really didn’t.”
Kimberly Johansen was the top Elon finisher with a third-place standing in the race and a time of 21:26.42. Coralea Geraniotis was the second Phoenix female harrier to cross the line with a time of 22:04.19 in eighth while rookie Melissa Anastasakis was 12th with a time of 22:18.35. All three received All-CAA honors for the race.
After Ciolkowski, rookie Ian Mickool was the next Phoenix runner in the men’s 8K with his time of 26:34.82 and was 16th overall. Michael Germinario was next as he finished 20th with a time of 26:53.79 while Justin Leopold went 23rd with a time of 27:06.45. Colton Lawson rounded out the top-five for the Phoenix with his 24th-place standing and a time of 27:13.43 while Carlos Andino (25th, 27:14.29) and Richie Kasper (27th, 27:17,70) also finished in the top-30.
Senior Shelby Cuddeback was 16th overall with a time of 22:27.97 while Brigid Brennan was 27th at 22:55.73 to round out the top-five scores for Elon. Carolyn Hopkins was 29th with a time 22:59.76 in her first-ever CAA race while Corey Weiss was 36th with a time of 23:15.75. Rookies Grace Dellapa and Sophia Tasselmyer had times of 23:24.97 and 23:31.56, respectively.
The Phoenix will compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 11, in Charlottesville, Va.