WEST POINT, N.Y. The Army men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2007 season with impressive showings at the West Point Golf Course on Friday afternoon. Junior Meghan Curran won the women’s race by 1:01 over the next competitor while John Mickowski finished second in the men’s race by just two seconds.
Curran, who laid down the fastest time ever run by a woman on this variation of the 4k course, led from start to finish and was never contested. The returning All-Patriot League junior covered the course in 15:22.9 with the next finisher, Brittany Burns of Marist, coming home in 16:23.5.
“I felt pretty good today,” said Curran after the race. “This is the best I’ve ever felt this early in the season.”
The rest of the women’s team was impressive as well as the Black Knight women finished in five of the top six overall positions. Sophomore Toni Oestmann (16:33.6) finished in third with junior Kristina Heinecke (16:40.9) in fourth while sophomores Stephanie Schoeneman (16:46.4) and Andrea Filozof (16:51.9) finished in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Rounding out the top seven Army finishers were freshmen Courtney Clement (17:00.4) in ninth place and Kristen Griest (17:27.40) in 13th.
“I am really proud of our whole squad,” said head coach Laura Kirchgraber. “Having two freshmen in the top seven this early in the season really speaks to the depth of squad.”
On the men’s side, senior John Mickowski was out in front for most of the 6k race until just getting nipped in the final 200 meters by Marist’s David Raucci. Mickowski toured the course in 19:59.3, just missing the win by two seconds.
“I felt pretty good for this time in the season,” said Mickowski. “I’m just looking forward to these next couple of scored meets.”
The Army men laid down a dominating performance as a team, bringing home the second through 12th positions.
Senior captain Rob Squier (20:26.5) finished in third with sophomore Andrew Catalano (20:27) in fourth, sophomore Greg Griffith (20:36.7) in fifth and freshman Alexis Torre-Santiago (20:43.5) in sixth.
Juniors Josh Weidner (20:44.9) and Justin Messenger (20:47.2) finished in seventh and eighth to round out Army’s top seven finishers.
“We’re pretty happy with the outcome of today,” said head coach Jerry Quiller. “We had a pretty tight pack in there and that’s what we’re looking to do. If we can keep that kind of depth, we should be in pretty good shape as we get into the season.”
Both the men and the women will be back in action next weekend as the Black Knights travel to Cornell to take on The Big Red in the annual Army-Cornell dual meet.