Written by Andrew Capitelli (SJC-LI Sports Information)
Patchogue, NY| After finishing second and third in 2016, respectively, the St. Joseph's College (L.I.) men's and women's cross country teams both look to return to Skyline Conference glory in 2017.
Both headed by 20-year head coach Jim Crowley, the teams, which have won a combined 14 conference titles over the past 11 seasons, are expected to contend for Skyline championships this season and looked strong in the season's opening meet: the 3rd Annual SJC Friends and Alumni Invitational on September 1.
On the men's side, Crowley returns all four of his Skyline All-Conference selections from a year ago. Sophomore Tim Monahan, senior James Dachille and junior Ryan Haun placed fifth, sixth and seventh at the 2016 conference championships and all appeared on the First-Team. Sophomore Nick DeLuca took 14th and was a Second-Team selection.
Haun, who took first place at the 2015 conference championships and was named Skyline Runner of the Year as a freshman, will be key to the men's success, as will freshman Thomas Newham, who finished ninth at the Friends and Alumni Meet last week.
The women will lean on defending individual champion and Skyline Runner of the Year, Erin MacDonell, who won with a 27-second cushion at the championships last season. The Sayville, NY native went on to finish second at the ECAC Championships and was an All-ECAC honoree.
Other key returners for the women include junior Taylor Darby and senior Amanda Sprague, who finished 20th and 22nd, respectively, at last year's championships.
Freshman Megan Haviland is among the women's team's newcomers and turned in an impressive fourth-place finish at the Friends and Alumni Meet.
Returning to action on Saturday, September 9 in the Purchase Invitational at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, both the men and the women were selected to finish second in their respective Skyline Preseason Coaches Polls on August 29.
Men's Cross Country Coaches Poll - Points
1. USMMA * (9) - 97
2. St. Joseph's-Long Island (3) - 92
3. Maritime (1) - 81
4. Mount Saint Mary - 71
5. Farmingdale State - 61
6. Yeshiva - 53
7. Purchase - 52
8. Sarah Lawrence - 35
9. Mount Saint Vincent - 27
10. Old Westbury - 23
11. St. Joseph's-Brooklyn – 13
Women's Cross Country Coaches Poll - Points
1. Farmingdale State * (6) - 95
2. St. Joseph's-Long Island (3) - 89
3. Mount Saint Mary (2) - 84
4. USMMA - 73
5. Sarah Lawrence - 68
6. Yeshiva - 47
7. Maritime - 45
8. Purchase - 40
9. Mount Saint Vincent - 25
10. St. Joseph's-Brooklyn - 21
11. Old Westbury – 18