BRONX, N.Y. – Making his collegiate debut, true freshman Mike Secreti (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) was the frontrunner for the Felician College men's cross-country team on Saturday morning as the Golden Falcons opened their 2013 season by competing in the Fordham University Fiasco/Ed Joyce Memorial at Van Cortlandt Park.
Secreti finished in ninth place out of 69 entrants in the non-Division I portion of the event. He completed the five-mile course in 27 minutes, 53 seconds, falling 20 seconds short of the Felician course record. He was more than a minute faster than his closest teammate, as sophomore Tom Cooke (Clarksboro, N.J./Kingsway Regional) was 22nd with a time of 28:54.
Hot on Cooke's heels was junior Keenan Huggins-Filozof (Farmingdale, N.J./Freehold, Township), who made a successful return after suffering a season-ending injury early in 2012. Huggins-Filozof placed 29th in 29:11. But the Golden Falcon pack got spaced out thereafter. The final two scorers were junior Nick Mardirosian (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) (46th, 30:31) and senior Connor Bratyanski (Saddle Brook, N.J./Saddle Brook) (57th, 32:05).
Felician ended up in sixth place out of seven schools in the small-college standings, including second of three Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference teams, with 134 points. They were 11 points behind fifth-place Dowling College, and eight ahead of Chestnut Hill College in seventh.
East Stroudsburg University won the non-Division I portion of the race with 33 points, and ESU's Chris Schneider was the individual champion in 26:26. On the D-I side, the U.S. Naval Academy emerged victorious, with its 21 points bettering the 55 of runner-up Rider University. Navy's Stephen Schroeder crossed the finish line first in 25:55.