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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

Brooklyn
The 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. 

City Tech
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.

Hunter
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).


John Jay
The Bloodhounds are expecting a successful season this year. Returners include Villiere Nazaire, Jorge Rosales, and Bilal Madyun.

Lehman
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 formidable combination.

WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY

Baruch
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.

Brooklyn
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.

 City Tech
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.

Hunter
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.

John Jay
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.

Lehman
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.

2004 Results:   Oct.5   Sept.28   Sept.21   Sept.14  2004-Preview

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