CUNYAC Cross-Country Championships: A Season in Review

The City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) hosts Macaulay’s participating schools and the dominance that has been displayed by Baruch College over the last three years has led them to three consecutive CUNYAC Commissioner’s Cups. Baruch remains in the lead for this coveted athletic prize with 50 points thus far during the 2012-2013 season and along with men’s soccer and women’s volleyball, the Baruch Bearcats’ women’s cross country team was essential in propelling Baruch to this early edge. The 2012-2013 season saw rising stars, finishing touches and team efforts; as teams continue to recruit talent and see improving results from their runners, the competition will only get better.

Lizzy Mahoney, Hunter’s star runner Courtesy: Hunter Word
Lizzy Mahoney, Hunter’s star runner Courtesy: Hunter Word

The 2012-2013 women’s cross-country season was one of the most competitive seasons that CUNYAC has experienced. The two powerhouses, Baruch College and Hunter College, were the early favorites and the season and did not disappoint. Hunter College senior Lizzy Mahoney continued her dominance during the 2012-2013 season as she finished the season as Runner of the Year, was named the CUNYAC/U.S. Army Runner of the Week four times and finished first at the CUNYAC Championships, with a new record time. Mahoney finished her career as one of the best runners in CUNYAC history.

As Mahoney’s career comes to an end, Brooke King, a freshman at John Jay, is just beginning hers. King finished the 2012-2013 season as the Rookie of the Year and led John Jay to a third-place finish. She was outstanding all season long, edging Mahoney for Runner of the Week honors twice early this season, and finishing second at the CUNYAC Championships. The freshman has a bright future ahead as the leader and arguably, now that Mahoney is set to graduate, the best runner in CUNYAC.

Despite her single-handed dominance, the Baruch Bearcats finished the season as champions behind coach Ariadne Mui, who took Coach of the Year honors. Baruch dominated as they finished first in every Division III event that they competed in and finished the CUNYAC Championships with a well-deserved victory. Captain Tracy Dimaculangan, a Macaulay Honors College junior who also won the Sportsmanship Award, called this season “memorable” and “rewarding.” In regards to Coach Mui, she said, “Head Coach Ariadne Mui has worked extremely hard to improve the team’s running skills and to keep all the girls motivated. It was a well-deserved award.”

As the Sportsmanship Award winner, Dimaculangan demonstrated a commitment to fair play, generosity towards teammates and opponents, and was voted this award by her peers. As Baruch, a team with six all-stars this season, prepares to defend their title against the likes of Hunter and John Jay, the off-season will be critical to their future success. Dimaculangan is determined and said, “It will take dedication and drive to continue improving as a team. Running is a mental sport as much as it is a physical sport, and strong morale within the team will help go beyond where we left off this season.”

The 2013 Bearcats team will be motivated to defend their title and retain their claim to the cross-country title.

As Baruch prepares for the 2013 season, Dimaculangan, Sara Soto, and Nailya Nuralina will be critical to their success. King will look to lead John Jay to their first ever title while Hunter will attempt to replace Mahoney, an extremely difficult task. Hunter owns 11 of the 22 championships awarded in this sport and will look to regain its success next year. While this season began with anticipation and excitement, next season could be even better. The storylines are already bubbling beneath the surface and the fight for the championship should be better than ever.

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