Men's Cross-Country Finishes Seventh At Highlander Challenge

Sophomore Connor Gillespie finished the Highlander Challenge, placing 116th, on Oct. 4, 2014. (Dave Schofield)
Sophomore Connor Gillespie finished the Highlander Challenge, placing 116th, on Oct. 4, 2014. (Dave Schofield)

NEWARK, N.J. – The Felician College men's cross-country team placed seventh out of 19 schools at the Highlander Challenge, hosted by New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday morning at Branch Brook Park.

A steady rain did little to slow the field at the notoriously fast Branch Brook course. Felician put two runners among the top 10 finishers, both with career-best 8,000-meter times. Sophomore Mike Secreti (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) ran the sixth-fastest 8K in the 15-year history of the Golden Falcons, crossing the line fifth our of 144 non-Division I competitors with a time of 25 minutes, 54 seconds. Secreti joined Rob Albano (six times) and Taylor Trumbetti (twice) as the only Felician runners to ever break 26 minutes for 8K.

Not far off the pace in ninth place was Felician senior Keenan Huggins-Filozof (Farmingdale, N.J./Freehold Township). He ran a 26:22 to rank No. 16 on the Golden Falcons all-time list of 8K times.

Junior Aiden Lynch (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) was the No. 3 man for Felician, clocking a 29:24 to finish 50th, and freshman Fernando Gomez (Secaucus, N.J./Secaucus) came in 84th in 31:43. Golden Falcon sophomore Connor Gillespie (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J./Hasbrouck Heights) also completed the race. His time of 35:29 put him 116th in the field.

Felician was credited with 213 points. The Golden Falcons were 28 points behind New York Institute of Technology in sixth place, and 17 better than eighth-place Essex County College.

Molloy College won the event with 67 points, 16 ahead of runner-up Queens (N.Y.) College. Unattached runner Joseph Gilihuley was the individual winner in 25:16, and LIU Post Michael Scott the top affiliated runner with a 25:25.

On the Division-I side, the host Highlanders defeated Saint Peter's College in a dual meet, 15-48.