Rakoc, Saints Dominate Liberty League Championships
Oct. 27: While St. Lawrence University's men's cross country team did not quite match last year's perfect score at the Liberty League Cross Country Championships, the Saints came through with a dominating performance on Clarkson's new 8,000 meter course and won their 28th league title and 18th straight in impressive fashion on Saturday.
The Saints led the eight-team field with 21 points with RPI finishing a distant second with 50 in what many believed would be a tight race for the team title. Vassar was third with 71 followed by RIT with 118, Clarkson with 136, Union at 152, Hobart at 231 and Bard with 250.
Saint senior Sam Rakoc captured the individual title, finishing a dozen seconds in front of teammate Scott Smolensky and the Saints placed all five scorers in the top nine to secure the team title. Rakoc, who ran 25:35 to establish the course record, is the fifth straight Saint runner to take individual honors in the Liberty League Championship event. He won his second straight race, following last weekend's NYSCTC title with the Liberty League crown.
Smolensky, a sophomore, was second in 25:47 with junior Brendan Courneene finishing fourth in 25:51 and freshman Spencer Patterson fifth in 25:58, the top rookie finisher in the race. A total of 23 seconds separated Rakoc from Patterson. Sophomore Trevor Bibb rounded out the Saint scoring with a ninth place finish in 26:05 to put the Saint scorers all within a 30 second window, while freshman Wesley Kirui was the sixth finisher for the Saints in 13th place as the top six Saint runners all earned All-League status by virtue of top-14 finishes.
Steve Petramale rounded out the Saint top seven with a 20th place finish in 26:32 while Zach Nelson was 24th in 26:44; Jeff Mogavero was 28th in 26:48, Jon Eng was 32nd in 26:57, Corey Hahnl was 34th in 27:00, Landen Elliott-Knaggs was 36th in 27:05, Aaron Tompkins was 40th in 27:15, Jason Hardacre 45th in 27:23, Spencer Fausel was 52n in 27:39, Daniel Driscoll 54th in 27:43, Phil Marshall 58th in 27:55, Adam Bankert 74th in 28:19, Harrison Sloan 79th in 28:28, Ellis Toll 80th in 28:35, Tyler Baldino 84th in 28:44; Ben Washburn 86th in 28:51, Tyler Harris 89th in 28:56, Will Moynihan 100th in 29:49 and Bryan Geiger 101st in 29:55.
The Saints will run in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship at Rochester Nov. 10.