The Ramapo College men’s cross country team won the Osprey Open 8k race on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Stockton University. The day was highlighted by senior distance runner Chris Andersen taking home first place in the entire race.
Ramapo ended up with three runners finishing in the top 10 and five runners in the top 15. This resulted in the Roadrunners tallying 42 points in total, enough to win the entire event.
Freshman distance runner Mohamed Nidaazzi finished second for Ramapo and fourth in the entire race, while junior runner Eduardo Cermeno finished tenth. Nicholas DeMarco and Ian McCauley rounded out the Ramapo top five finishers, achieving 13th place and 14th place, respectively. The day was filled with victory for Ramapo, and it was spotlighted by Chris Andersen running off with first place in the race.
“My legs actually felt weak before the gun but that dissipated once we were off,” Andersen said. “Normally when I don’t feel great before a race it’s a good sign.”
It was a good sign this time, as Andersen got off to a fast start, gunning for the front of the pack and establishing his position in the lead. For the first two miles, Andersen was in tight competition with runners from both West Chester University and Jefferson University.
However, as the race progressed, Andersen distanced himself from the rest of the pack. In the last three miles, he was all alone and ended up finishing the race with a time of 25:27.54. This winning time was 32 seconds shorter than the second place finisher.
“I went into this race with no expectation of time or place. I just wanted to go out there and give it my all and compete,” said Andersen. This 8k race was faster for Andersen than his last race two years ago.
Nidaazzi, the second Roadrunner to finish the race, ended with a time less than a minute slower than Andersen at 26:11.93. He, along with Cermeno, DeMarco and McCauley backed up Andersen and catapulted the team to a victory.
Although Andersen finished in first place, he shouted out his teammates after the event. “I’m very happy and proud of my teammates for their great performances to help us earn a first place finish,” he said.
This victory was the first time Ramapo finished in first place during a meet this season. After this, the team will travel to Bethlehem, Pa. for the Paul Short Invitational. The race will be held on Friday, Oct. 1 at 12:15 p.m. at Lehigh University.