Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Off to the Races

The Sacred Heart University men’s and women’s cross country seasons are underway, with both teams competing in two invitationals so far this season.

At the Stony Brook season opener on Sept. 4, the men’s team finished seventh and the women’s team finished sixth, according to Sacred Heart Athletics.

The top performer on the men’s side was graduate student Moetiz Shilleh, with a 20:46:50 in the 6K. The women’s team had first-year Emily Bloom leading the way with a time of 15:24:50 in the 4K.

“We’ve gone against some pretty stiff competition, but we’ve done pretty well for ourselves,” said Shilleh.

In the team’s second meet at the Ken O’Brien Minuteman Invite at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) in Amherst, Mass., the men came in fourth while the women finished in sixth. Senior Corey Picard had the top time for the men, crossing the line with a time of 21:51 in the 8K race, while Bloom once again had the top time among the women, finishing with a time of 19:39 in the 6K.

“We ran into some very tough competition in the first two meets, so I don’t think the team standings are going to necessarily reflect the kind of team we have,” said Head Coach Christian Morrison.

The men’s team was picked to finish sixth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) this season, while the women’s team was picked to finish third, according to the NEC Preseason Coaches Poll.

For Picard and Shilleh, the two veteran captains are pleased with how their season has kicked off.

“The first two meets of the season are usually rust-busters, you’re just shaking off not racing for a while,” said Picard. “But for the most part the team has been competing, they’ve been working together well.”

Morrison expressed pleasure with how Bloom has begun her collegiate career, having finished with the top time for the women’s team in her first two collegiate races.

“Emily is going to be really good in college. She’s already a fairly mature racer and I’m excited to see what the future holds for her,” said Morrison.

Bloom was also content with her performances to begin her collegiate career.

“I’ve liked what I’ve turned out, I’m excited to push myself more and see what I can do throughout the season, but I’d say my first two meets have gone pretty well,” said Bloom. The men’s and women’s cross country teams are back in action again on Sept. 25 at the Ted Owen Invitational hosted by Central Connecticut State (CCSU) in New Britain, Conn.

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