Rensselaer junior materials science engineer and men’s cross country standout Ben Fazio, showed his home course in Saratoga Springs, NY, who’s boss on Saturday. He crossed over the finish line with a winning time of 18:51.5 for the 6K race, helping his team to a third place position out of 21 schools. Picking up where he left off last season with a second place finish in the Liberty League Championships and placing 26th in the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships, Fazio was named Liberty League Men’s Cross Country Performer of the Week for Saturday’s performance.
With six finishers in the top 15, St. Lawrence University attained the winning score of 33, followed by New York University with 47, then RPI with 99. Rensselaer’s second finisher, senior and men’s team co-captain Steven Hammar crossed in 17th place at 19:37.8 and was closely followed by junior Garrett Davis in 23rd place at 19:40.8. Trailing behind him was last week’s top RPI runner, freshman Grant O’Connor, who took 28th at 19:49.6. Rounding out the top five was junior Matthew Cicciu in 30th place with a time of 19:52.5.
Continuing in the trend from last week’s Ronald Stonitsch Invitational in Poughkeepsie, NY, the Rensselaer women’s cross country team acquired another second place team victory for the season on Saturday. Although they had 22 points on Stevens Institute of Technology, who edged them out of victory last Saturday, St. Lawrence University clutched first place this time with 54:61 in the points despite RPI junior and women’s co-captain Maddie Pery’s performance. St. Lawrence also obtained first place last year at Saratoga.
First to finish for the RPI women in the 5K race was senior Shannon Trant in fourth place at 17:55.3. Behind her was sophomore Jamie Lord in fifth with 18:05.3. Maddie Dery came in eighth with 18:17.6, while senior Alexa Sakorafos and junior Allison Thayer placed 20th and 24th with 18:49.4 and 18:53.6 respectively.
Saturday will see the return of Rensselaer cross country to the course in New Gloucester, ME, at Pineland Farms where the Bates Super X-C Shootout will take place, hosted by the Bates College Bobcats. The men’s 8K race, which will be the first of the season for RPI, will happen at 11 am, and the women’s 5K will be at 11:45 am.