BY Josef Samilenko
13 combined members from Sacred Heart University’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams, set personal record times at the Vermont Fall Foliage on Oct. 13.
The men’s team ran an 8k race, while the women’s team ran a 5k race.
There were eight runners on the men’s side who set personal records. These runners were senior captain Dane Krchnavy, junior Gavin Thurlow, sophomores Ryan Corbett, Sean Murray and Christopher Gillis, and freshmen Aidan Tucker, Michael Keller, and Corey Picard.
Krchnavy led Sacred Heart, running a 26:09.00 time in the 8k race. His efforts earned him 12th place out of 52 competitors.
Corbett led the sophomore class coming in at 27:01.90, good for 26th place. He was the fourth Sacred Heart runner to finish.
“My confidence was at an all-time high going into that race because of the success I had in the previous race,” said Corbett. “I felt very strong and was determined to run as hard as I possibly could.”
The men’s team placed 2nd out of 3 teams. They placed ahead of conference opponent Bryant University, while falling to Vermont.
“I had confidence in myself because of my dedication in training and successful workouts at practice. I had confidence that I could put together a good performance,” said Corbett. “But I know that I can do even better. Being so close to my goal will give me even more motivation to improve myself further.”
On the women’s side, junior Bianca De Lucia, sophomores Bonnie Wilder and Brenna Thibodeau, redshirt freshman Gaelyn Kattman, and freshman Angela Kaiser, set personal records.
Kattman’s 19:02.3 time placed her 14th out of 53 competitors. She was the fourth Sacred Heart runner to finish.
“It has been a long time since I have gotten a new record, and I was satisfied with my performance as a whole,” said Kattman.
For the fourth consecutive week, Kattman earned the Northeast Conference (NEC) ‘Rookie of the Week’ Award. Despite this, she is looking for more improvement.
“I had a goal of breaking 19 minutes in the 5k because I was so close to breaking this mark,” said Kattman. “I could have been happier with my time.”
The NEC Championships are nearing for both teams. The event will take place on Oct. 27, at Bryant University.
Wilder, who ran a personal best 19:15.8 and placed 17th overall, is looking ahead to the event.
“I’ve PR’d three times this season and hope to PR at NECs,” said Wilder.
Wilder has noted a change this season, having set multiple personal records.
“Last year I had no ‘set’ preparation before race day. Now I have a superstition that eating a Linda’s hamburger with fries helps give me extra energy, and every time I’ve eaten that the night before a race, I’ve beaten my prior personal record,” said Wilder.
Her personal record has been broken in the past three races she has participated in. From 19:49.1 on Sept. 8, to 19:37.5 on Oct. 6, to her current personal record, Wilder has seen herself improve steadily.
“I am now more confident with myself,” said Wilder. “By doing everything right and going down on mileage, I’m now Top-5 on a good day.”
The women’s team will be looking to repeat as NEC Champions, as they will race against nine other teams in their NEC race.
In order for the men to win their NEC Championship, they will have to defeat seven other teams, including Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), who have won the title for the past nine years in a row. men