Toms River, NJ - Ocean County College's men's and women's cross country team started the 2018 season off strong at the Dukes Invitational last Saturday (9/8), hosted by Cumberland County College. The men's team finished 2nd overall out of the 10 teams present - 1st amongst non-Division 1 schools.
Freshman Conrad Spence led the Vikings with a 3rd place finish at 18:29.37 for 5k. Following were teammates Kevin Knoetig, Joseph Bombardiere, Thomas Dalessio, and Grant Tokarski in 13th, 14th, 16th, and 20th respectively. Sophomore Dylan Antonelli rounded out the team at 59th. Jessica Reis led the Vikings women's team with a 9th place finish in 24:44.18 for 5k. Newcomer to the sport, Maria Rojas, made her debut in 22nd.
Vikings XC Head Coach Jennifer Nelson-Siciliano believes the team is right where they should be at the beginning of the season. "These athletes have put in the miles all summer and are coming into the season strong. This is just the benchmark. We will see even more improvements as we start some speed work and start running some fast times. This is a great start."
The Vikings will return to action on Saturday, September 15 at Rowan University's Bill Fritz Invitational.