Herkimer Cross Country competes in Nationals in Massachusetts

WESTFIELD, MA - All good things must come to an end, and the Herkimer Generals men’s and women’s cross country teams closed out their season with a good performance at the NJCAA Division 3 cross-country national championship meet hosted by Holyoke Community College.

Harper College swept the team titles once again with Kingsborough’s Tyesha James and Sandhills’s Daniel Taylor taking home the individual championships. The Harper men have now won 8 consecutive national championships whilst the women are in the midst of a three-year reign.

The Herkimer women, on the other hand, saw some excellent season’s best performances and captured 14th place overall. Claire Connolly (Little Falls/Little Falls, NY) and Malerie Belles (Cicero-North Syracuse/Clay, NY) were the top finishers for the Lady Generals. With their fastest times of the season by far, Connolly took home 85th (25:26.24) and Belles secured a 90th place finish (25:56.16).

The other Lady Generals in this race were Jenna LaPerla (Mount Markham/Ilion, NY), Amina Mohamed (Bayview South/Milwaukee, WI) and Liberty Zamaparrias (Travis/Austin, TX). LaPerla was 99th (26:23.50), Mohamed was 100th (26:24.00) and Zamaparrias closed out the Herkimer effort with a 119th place finish (30:09.85).

The men’s squad, after a disappointing race at regionals, came back with a 16th place finish in the national race,  4th best amongst the region 3 teams, and 6 points ahead of rival Mohawk Valley. This marks the team’s 4th win this season over their arch rivals, impressive considering that prior to this season, the General men had never scored a victory over the Hawks.

Andrew Yacobucci (Canajoharie/Canajoharie, NY) and Jake Baisley (Dolgeville/Dolgeville, NY) were the top finishers for the General men, finishing back to back in 61st and 62nd, with respective times of 30:09.00 for Andrew and 30:11.91 for Baisley.

Helping the Generals in this season’s last contest were Ricky Patterson (Peekskill/Peekskill, NY), Lewis Lewis (Thomas R. Proctor/Utica, NY), Zumar Smith (Amelia Academy/Chesterfield, VA), Marius Murabito (Whitesboro/Whitesboro, NY) and Kennyasha Joseph (Dover/Dover Plains, NY). Patterson was 82nd (30:58.77), Lewis grabbed 96th (31:38.07), Smith took home 99th (31:47.55), Murabito finished 133rd (34:23.38) and Joseph rounded out the attack in 140th (35:24.12).

With 4 out of 5 women and 5 out of 7 men potentially returning for next year, the future looks as bright as ever for the Herkimer Generals.

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