Weekend Review September 15-17
Just one meet this week worth discussing: The Rochester Yellowjacket Invitational. Though not the pre-regional meet this year, there were still loads of Niagara teams running (and some good out of region competition as well!). The first big test at the 8k distance for all of these teams, and man, it was a good one.
Yellowjacket Invitational (Rochester)
Notable Niagara Region Teams: Hamilton, Ithaca, Oneonta, RIT, Rochester, Cobleskill, Geneseo, St. John Fisher
Results: 1st: Cornell (15), 2nd: Colgate (74), 3rd: Geneseo (123), 4th: Buffalo (130), 5th: Rochester (173), 6th: Oneonta, (176) 7th: RIT (210), 8th: Hamilton (222), 9th: Oberlin (223), 10th: St. John Fisher (267).
No need to read into the top 4 teams results too much - Cornell went 1-12 with their B and C teamers, Colgate looked stronger than usual (5 freshmen in their top 7!), Genny and Buffalo both sent partial squads and did fine.
Rochester seemed to do… ok? on their home course and was the top complete Niagara team as expected - though what the heck happened to Hendricks? Was their #1 in their opener and their #7 today. These guys had Oneonta breathing down their necks, hopefully they will continue to improve throughout the season. I’ll chock it up as an off day, but they are in danger of falling out of the top 5 in my book.
ONEONTA! Thank you for FINALLY validating my pre-season belief in you. Only 3 points behind Rochester. Another solid run from Bierman who continues to look like a Nationals qualifier, and the rest of their team seemed to step up as well. A serious bummer they lost McClain to Genny but it seems like their depth is picking up the slack and could be in contention for a top 5 finish at regionals.
Better run than I expected from RIT - I guess the announcement of their demise was premature. Their #1 Derick Koen (15:37 PB) had an excellent day, finishing as the top D3 runner at the meet. They don’t have the depth to back him up, but it seems like I was wrong to drop them from my rankings.
Not a great day from Hamilton. Their top runner Mansbach was only 32nd, and the rest of their runners seemed to stagnate or backslide from their opener. They are young though, and could do much better as a team once they have a few 8ks under their belt.
Jasper Fall Classic (Manhattan)
Notable Niagara Region Teams: NYU
Results: 1st: Rider (43), 2nd: Canisius (65), 3rd: Siena (68), 4th: NYU (85)
Analysis: I lied up above - decided to talk about NYU, who opened up what appeared to be their full team this weekend. No George Brady, Aidin Hasan, or Nick Ankuta - with the later 2 not on the roster at all. Concerning, but they still had a strong day with Tobin leading the charge. Several of their other runs also seemed to have made strides from last season. Hopefully they can get Brady back soon - without him, I feel less confident that this team can qualify for Nationals, though they should be 2nd at regionals on paper. But as I’ve said before, these guys love to blow their load too early, so let's hope it’s not all downhill from here (see: 2022 season).
Another fun weekend of action and we seem to have a better picture of the region as a whole. I’ll throw an updated top 10 out, cause why not. Next major meet for the region is in 2 weeks at Paul Short, though I’ll poke around and see if there are any small meets to highlight next weekend.
4a. Rochester (Giving them the benefit of the doubt for an off day, though they’re on thin ice)