2004 CUNYAC Cross Country Preview
Hawks Looking To Fly High Again
The 2004 CUNY Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships should be
extremely exciting with the addition of a number of talented newcomers as well
as some solid returners. The event will once again take place and historic Van
Cortlandt Park on Sunday, October 24. Hunter is the defending champion on the
menís and womenís side.
MENíS CROSS COUNTRY
Bridges return two of their top runners, sophomores Jeff Pierre and
Richard Martin. The two look to improve over their 2003 times and make
Brooklyn a competitor in the CUNYAC. Luke Heywood, a standout on the
volleyball team, should be one of the team's top runners.
The New York City College of
Technology menís team is extremely optimistic for the 2004 season after coming
off of a second place finish at the CUNYAC Championships. Senior Raphael
Lynch (Brooklyn, NY) and juniors Danul Cabbagestalk (Brooklyn, NY)
and Clyde Forteau (Bronx, NY) will lead group of newcomers to the front
of the pack. They include freshmen Winston Maragh (Brooklyn, NY) from
Middle College High School, Eric Bourne (Brooklyn, NY) from Transit Tech
and Arturo Boyce (Brooklyn, NY) from Bushwick.
No team has ever been as dominant as Hunter was in winning the CUNYAC title last
year. The Hawks swept not only the top five, but the top six, spots at the
championship to win with a perfect score of 15 points. While 21st-year head
coach Ed Zarowin may find it tough assembling a squad to repeat that feat, the
Hawks should be capable of winning a fourth straight title this fall. The league
will again be chasing junior Omri Holzman, the two-time defending
conference champion. He won four meets a year ago before placing seventh at the
ECAC Championships and 50th at the NCAA Regionals. Also back is silver medalist
and outdoor track 800 meter All-merican, Peter Zaccariello. New faces
include 1998 runner-up Tyzok Wharton, who returns to Hunter after five
years in the military, and freshmen Manuel Oaxaca (Converse, TX / Judson)
and Osvaldo Rivera (Bronx, NY / LaGuardia).
The Bloodhounds are expecting a
successful season this year. Returners include Villiere Nazaire,
Jorge Rosales, and Bilal Madyun.
Sophomore Freeman Blalock will
once again lead the menís program. Blalock is coming off a very solid 2003
season, and will look to continue his vast improvement. The Lightning squad also
features sophomore Bill Agosto, who along with Blalock give Lehman a very
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
Dr. William Eng embarks on his 10th season as Baruch's Cross Country Coach with
high hopes for the upcoming 2004 season. Baruch returns many of its experienced
runners such as Liz Lushpenko, Mercedes Zegarra, and Jennifer
Liriano to lead a roster that will compete in events at New York University,
Bard, DeSales, and the always competitive CUNYAC runs. Liz Lushpenko is
looking to add to her already excellent cross-country career with another
dominating season. Liz finished in the 5th spot with total time of 22:12 in the
CUNYAC championships last year helping the team to a second place overall finish
at that event. Mercedes Zegarra will be another key runner. At the 2003
Baruch Invitational, she placed 16th overall with the total time of 24:39 and
finished the CUNYAC championships run with a total time of 25:45. With a strong
team returning and many new fresh runners Baruch cross country is looking place
among the elite of the CUNYAC this season.
The Bridges started to come together toward the end of last season as two-sport
player Marlene Veras led the way. Veras returns in 2004 along with
Sha-Ri Washington to fortify a young squad. Newcomers Jessica Imbert
and Huan Zhang have shown themselves to be talented athletes and should
add to the improvement of the returning squad. Zhang was captain of her cross
country squad at Newtown High School.
Womenís top returnees include junior
Princilla Francis (Brooklyn, NY), sophomore Tamika Willis
(Brooklyn, NY) and Letisha Jenkins (Brooklyn, NY). New faces to watch for
include Carolyn Toney (New York, NY), a freshman from Cathedral Prep and
Ameena Washington (Queens, NY) a freshman from Hillcrest High School.
After regaining the CUNYAC title last season, Hunter hopes to start a new streak
of conference victories. The Hawks captured five straight championships from
1997-2001, but it will now be up to a new group of runners to carry on the
tradition for 21st-year head coach Ed Zarowin. Back to lead the way for Hunter
is sophomore Jen Zaccariello, last fall's CUNYAC bronze medalist, and
junior Wendy Samuel, who finished sixth in the conference a year ago.
Sophomore Melissa Puz (ninth) and junior Ann Marie Guerra (11th)
are being counted on to add more veteran punch to the squad's line-up. Further
solidifying the team's efforts is the return of junior Cynthia Barrett,
the 2001 CUNYAC bronze medalist, who missed last season's championship campaign.
A handful of other returning veterans in Danielle Okoro, Natalya
Kaplun, Paulina Frias should only add to the team's depth.
Jessica Brown is expected to be a key
force for the Bloodhounds. With a solid set of newcomers on both sides, John Jay
is looking to make major strides.
The addition of freshman Amy Ruston
should make the Lightning extremely exciting this season. Ruston, a long
distance runner out of New Hampshire could give the Lightning one of the most
dominant runners in Lehman College history. Ruston will join the program after a
brief stint at Stony Brook University. Senior Sue-Ellen Cuevas will also
bolster the womenís attack.