When you take part in a club or athletics team at any college or university, especially in one at RIT, you are putting yourself in a position to share moments with others that turn out to be some of the best memories you’ll have. For some former students, young or old, that have competed on RIT’s cross-country teams, those moments are one of the reasons that they come back to visit campus again. And while they’re at it, they get to run a race with RIT’s current teams — Men’s and Women’s.
On Saturday, September 1, RIT’s cross-country program held their fourth annual scrimmage alumni 5k race (3.1 miles) to keep alumni in touch with the program and provide some fun competition between both past runners and current.
Alumnus Kevin Collins returned for the “memories and nostalgia.” “I was an early ’90s and mid-’90s runner on the team,” he recalled. “We had an alumni race then with a 10 kilometer that went on-campus.” Like other alumni, Collins says, he was overjoyed when the tradition was revived in recent years.“I love talking to the new guys because they have adopted a lot of the traditions from the old team,” he stated.
Mike Krenzer, a fourth year Electrical Engineering major and Men’s captain, was pleased with his run. He finished at 13th place in the Men’s category with a time of 16:58, over a minute behind Collins, who finished second. When asked if he talked with any alumni, Krenzer said he chose to focus more on his running though he planned to meet with them after the race.
The first place finisher for the men was third year Computer Engineering Matt Giannino with a time of 15:21, compared to alumnus Trisha Byler’s time of 18:13 on the women’s side.
Coach David Warth of the Men’s team took the opportunity to talk about the chances of his team’s success, saying that he hopes some of his runners can qualify for the Atlantic Regional Championships. But Coach Warth also noted that the women’s side, coached by David Stevens, who is in his sixth year as coach for RIT, has a good chance of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
When asked about what he hopes the women’s team can accomplish, he responded by saying that he thinks the team can make it to the NCAA Championships. “The women have a very realistic chance of qualifying for NCAA. I wouldn’t say they are favorites, but they have a chance.”
This is not surprising — Stevens could be seen cheering his runners on at the top of his lungs, encouraging them to keep pushing harder until they finished.
“We have had a couple of individual qualifiers sent to [the NCAA], but the goal is for the entire team to qualify this year. We have a good shot at that. Definitely,” said Stevens.
Through it all, the event seemed to be one that alumni, current runners and coaches seemed to enjoy, and perhaps the race will motivate alumni and runners alike to get in even better shape so they can have the edge over their competitors.