NEWARK, N.J. -- Felician College senior cross-country runner Rob Albano (Pompton Plains, N.J.) broke his own school record for 8,000 meters en route to completing an undefeated regular season on Sunday morning. Albano was the individual champion of the men's half of the Highlander Challenge, hosted by New Jersey Institute of Technology at Branch Brook Park.
Albano entered the day owning seven of the top nine 8k times in Felician history, including a record 24:59 at last year's Highlander Challenge. On Sunday, he topped that mark by 26 seconds, turning in a 24:33 on the flat, fast Branch Brook course. Albano, who also established the meet record, crossed the finish line 42 seconds ahead of his nearest opponent in besting a field of 160 entrants.
The event marked the end of the regular season for Felician. Albano has competed in four of the Golden Falcons' six races in 2012, and won all four of them. He has now been the individual champion in nine invitationals in his career, most notably the 2011 CACC Championship.
With his team competing for the second time in as many days, Felician coach John Brennan entered only his three returning all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference seniors in the Highlander Challenge. Taylor Trumbetti (Montvale, N.J.) was the only team member to participate in both of the weekend's races.
After winning the Jack St. Clair Memorial hosted by Philadelphia University on Saturday, Trumbetti turned in a personal record 25:55 on Sunday. He finished in sixth place overall, and bested his 2011 time in the same event by one second.
Tim Kicha (Saddle Brook, N.J.) broke 27 minutes for the first time in his career. His 26:41 was good for 15th place.
The Golden Falcons did not receive a team score. USMMA-King's Point was the team champion with 72 points, and Monroe College sophomore Ansu Sowe was the closest competitor to Albano, finishing in 25:15.
Felician has next weekend off before competing in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship on October 21 in Philadelphia. The Golden Falcons are the two-time defending champions in the event, and have won nine overall conference crowns.