The Canisius College men's and women's cross country teams open the 2012 season at the Little Three Championship on Friday morning at the St. Bonaventure Golf Course in Olean, N.Y. As the reigning men's and women's team champions, the Golden Griffins and first-year head coach Nate Huckle will defend their titles against St. Bonaventure and MAAC rival Niagara. In addition, sophomore Chad Maloy will look to preserve his individual crown on the men's side.
The women's 5K-race will begin at 11 a.m. followed by the men's 5K-race at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Huckle will look to continue where former men's and women's head coach Pete Osmond left off before resigning this past off-season. A five-time Section V Coach of the Year selection, Huckle will direct both teams after serving as the head coach of the men's and women's cross country, and indoor and outdoor track programs at Brighton Central School.
Entering the men's Little
Three Championship, the Griffs have won six straight team titles. On the
individual side, a male Griff has earned the top spot in every
championship since 2007. Senior Alex Simon won the individual title in 2010 with a time of 25:43 when the Griffs hosted the Championship at Delaware Park.
Last season, the Griffs captured the team title with a score of 19 followed by Niagara (52) and St. Bonaventure (87). The Blue and Gold took home the top-three places with eight occupying the top-ten slots. As a freshman, Maloy captured top honors with a time of 26:27 for a first-place finish. Fellow Griffs Nathan McCabe came in second (26:47) and Aaron Hoven took third (27:24).
The men's team returns
eight runners from last year's squad with the addition of five new
Griffs. The trio of Maloy, Simon, and McCabe will provide the men's team
with running experience due to their success on the course.
On the women's side, the Griffs have won five consecutive team crowns since 2007. A member of the women's team has earned individual top honors in each race, dating back to 2008. As a freshman, Mikelle Cala (18:07) combined with Simon to sweep the individual titles in 2010 at Delaware Park.
In 2011 at Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston, N.Y., the Griff women scored 26 points for a first-place finish with Niagara in second (47) and St. Bonaventure in third (51). Former Griff Christine Mulvihill earned her second individual title of her career, finishing first with a time of 18:54. The Griffs finished the race holding five of the top-ten spots in the race.
With the loss of
Mulvihill, Jill Shea, and Julie Dahlkemper, the Griffs will need their five
returnees to step up this season. The Griffs welcome six new members to
their team this fall.
In total, the men and
women have won a combined 47 team championships. Since 1969, the Griff
men have captured 26 team crowns with no race held in 1991. The women
have dominated the Little Three Championships, taking 21 titles since
1983, including five years of no women's race.