The College of Staten Island cross-country program got out to its first developmental meet of the season, taking part in the Baruch College Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park on Sunday morning. CSI did not have complete teams at the meet, as only a small portion of their rosters participated in this early season run. Still, the Dolphins’ women impressed with a 7th place finish overall, while a pair of male runners crossed the lines as well.
On the women’s side the story of the day was via freshman Anna Huseinbergovic, who dazzled with a time of 29:35 in the 6k trek in her first competitive collegiate race. The placing was good enough for 8th place overall among 79 runners, earning her a Top Ten medal. CSI’s other four finishers included three first-year runners.
Jacqueline Jamaleddine, who also doubles on the women’s tennis team, was also very impressive in her first competitive meet, finishing at 32:12 which was good enough for 27th in the field. Fellow athletic freshman Goodnews Nkama raced in at 35:11, for 44th place, while freshman Melissa King and sophomore Kubra Shirazi rounded things out. CSI finished 7th overall among 11 scoring teams (three other teams did not place).
“Overall, we had an excellent start,” said cross-country coach Robert Russo. “The women are looking at a great season. I was very impressed because this was only our first race and there is still a lot of improvement we will see. It’s a good sign for the future.”
On the men’s side, Russo’s unit will be in full stride by next weekend’s meet, but a pair of runners who were conditioned for race day made the start and finished with good times. First year senior Matt Pfaff finished at 38.17 in the 8k run, which was good for 72nd place among 97 runners, while sophomore Shawn Cybulska topped in at 41:49.