St. John's Cross Country Opens 2013 Season At SJU-Hofstra Fall XC Festival

Sep 7, 2013

OAKDALE, N.Y. - The St. John’s women’s cross country team got its 2013 campaign underway on Sat., Sept. 7, co-hosting the SJU-Hofstra Fall XC Festival on St. John’s University’s pristine Oakdale, N.Y. campus.

Placing its first two runners in the top-16 of the 108-competitor field in the women’s collegiate 4K race, the Red Storm tallied a team score of 78, good for eighth overall and fourth among Division I teams. Manhattan won the women’s team title with 45 points, followed by Adelphi with 50 points and fellow BIG EAST member Seton Hall with 51 points for third.

“I thought we had a great day out here on the Oakdale campus,” said St. John’s coach Jim Hurt, whose team had not competed on St. John’s University’s Long Island campus since 2005. “The venue was outstanding and the weather and competition was great. I thought we looked a bit rusty so our team still has to get some work done in the next couple of weeks but it was a great day here in Oakdale and we are really excited about having the meet back out here next year.”

In addition to the women’s 4K race and a collegiate men’s 5K race, Saturday’s event included a Long Island USA Track & Field Grand Prix 5K and an alumni one mile fun run & walk.

Running aggressively from the start, the Red Storm’s 1-2 punch of graduate student and captain Michelle Duffy and sophomore Kerri Butler stuck with the lead pack for the first loop and a half around the Oakdale campus grounds in the women’s race, before finishing 12th and 16th, respectively. Duffy posted a time of 16:01.64, sixth best among DI competitors, while Butler was not far behind in 16:09.64, eighth best among DI finishers.



 Also running aggressively in her season opener was sophomore Ashlin Conroy, who finished 32nd overall in 16:49.17, nine spots ahead of classmate Michelle Van Pelt, 41st in 17:05.66. Twin sister Stephanie Van Pelt rounded out St. John’s top-5 with a 45th-place run in 17:13.85.

 Sophomore Veronica Thompson was sixth for the Red Storm and 53rd overall with a time of 17:31.32, followed by classmates Pariis Garcia (66th/17:58.76), Jasmine Gomez (74th/18:17.64) and Tiffany Evanego (81st/18:25.62).

Betsy Eickelberg of Adelphi was the collegiate women’s individual champion with a time of 15:00.22, while the Panthers also won the team and individual titles on the men’s side with a team score of 26 and a winning time of 15:24.50 from Nicholas Filippazzo.

The Red Storm will be back in action on Sat., September 13 when it travels to Brookville, N.Y. to defend its team title at the C.W. Post Invite. Last year, St. John’s finished first out of 20, placing its top-five finishers in the top-35 overall.

For updates and results from St. John’s cross country’s season-opener and to keep up to date on all team news, follow on Twitter @StJohnsXCTF and by using the hashtag #stjohnsxc. To be added to the St. John’s women’s cross country fans e-mail list send a message to with the subject: “St. John’s women’s XC e-mail.”