Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ— Same location, same result. The Raiderettes of the Maroon and Grey Cross Country team dominated their first competitive race of the season. The XC gals, who will be racing every Wednesday the rest of the way, showed up to a gray filled sky with ominous clouds this fine afternoon in Branch Brook Park. The team was extremely excited and eager to take on the course for the first time this year and didn’t allow the gloomy October weather to phase them one bit. A line-up filled with star studded seniors and a trio of sophomores ran rampant throughout the park.
The squad was led by Senior Captains, Tiffany Mireulo (21:51) and Morgan Defluri (24:50) who placed 1st and 3rd respectively. Both showed off their experience on the course and finished at a pace they’re confident they can build on the rest of the way. The Ladies XC dominated the top 10 with 9 girls placing. Joining the senior captains and finishing at 5th, 6th and 7th places were the trio of besties aka the tripod (Ava Tucker 25:36, Abby Smith 25:54 and Maddy Seckler 26:05.) “Da crew” finished roughly 30 seconds apart, as they have built great rapport over their career running as a pack and pushing one another to finish races strong. Also to note, Abby Smith had a PR by almost 3 minutes! “My pace felt great, especially going into my last mile, but I am not here for PR’s, I am here to win!” added Smith, who is looking to finish her final season as her best one yet.
The Sophomore Sensations really cemented themselves into this line up with some great finishes. Sarah Gibney (2nd place 24:36) and Beth Christman (4th place 25:18) impressed but both agreed if they want to take this program to new heights next year, they’re going to push themselves even harder the rest of the way. The third musketeer of the class of 2023 Erica Spina (27:15) finished a solid 8th on the day. These 3 look like future leaders and are definitely going to be here for the long haul. Rounding out the top 10 and solidifying the victory for the Raiderettes was high spirited and crafty veteran Megan Macaluso (28:05). Finally we had great efforts added by Elaine Dong (31:04). Alexandra Wasko (31:16) and Hannah Algieri (32:00).
The dozen ladies left Newark with a great spirit but, know it’s going to be a challenging season and they have a lot of unfinished business to take care of before they can start celebrating anything yet. This season will continue week by week and do not forget to tune in right here for your updates on the girls XC team because to quote (our way) the cult classic film Mean Girls, “On Wednesdays we race.” (mic drop). Coach Ritacco out!