Rutgers finishes ninth at Fordham
With the Rutgers men’s cross country team competing in its first event of the season, head coach Mike Mulqueen was not sure what he would get out of the Scarlet Knights.
“We’ve only been together since Sept. 1, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” Mulqueen said. “It was your typical first race — some good, some not so good.”
The team finished ninth overall on Saturday at the Fordham Fiasco and Follies. With a total of 273 points, the Knights placed nine runners in total and one in the top 50.
Leading the way for the Knights last weekend was sophomore Chris Banafato with a time of 26:41.25. Banafato’s finish was good for 28th overall in the race and a No. 1 finish for Rutgers.
“He was real tough. He ran really, really well,” Mulqueen said. “He had a real good first race.”
Princeton, collecting 26 total points, won the men’s five-mile race. Navy came in second with 41 points and Yale rounded out the top three.
The fourth-place finisher was Penn, followed by Fordham and NYU in a tie for fifth, then Rider, New Jersey Tech, Rutgers and Quinnipiac.
Princeton placed back-to-back finishers in the top two. Donn Cabrel took first with a time of 25:30.37, and Eddie Owens finished second with an effort of 25:42.43. Cody Rome of Navy, who posted a final time of 25:44.00, finished in third place.
The Knights ended up with three other racers finishing in the top 100. Freshman C.J Defabio’s time of 27:47.05 was good for second on the team and 72nd overall. Sophomore Curtis Richburg and senior Benjamin Forrest followed Defabio.
Other Knights placing in the event included Steven Burkholder, Brian Wells, Anthony Horton, Thomas Bragen and Ben Horel.
Mulqueen believes there is room for improvement with his team as it heads into its next race.
“We have to close the gap. We can’t have a minute break between our first and second guy,” Mulqueen said. “We were just a bit too far apart than we needed to be. That’s the main thing we need to work on.”
Rutgers looks to do just that on Saturday as it travels to Holmdel, N.J., to compete in the Monmouth Invitational.