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Cross Country upset at Iona Meet of Champions

On Saturday both the men's and women's cross country teams competed in the Iona Meet of Champions at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, New York. The women's team finished twentieth overall and the men finished in twenty second place. Senior Diane Szaflarski had the highest finish of any Seton Hall contestants, finishing in 126th place with a time of 26.00.25 and a 6:59 pace. As for the men, freshman Jared Hanko finished in 154th place with a time of 28.52.01 and a 5:49 pace. "It met my expectations and more," Assistant coach John Marshall said. "Diane ran like a senior, she was patient but aggressive, she had a strong finish. Her continued improvement is important for our women team to be successful." Four other members of the women's team participated in the race. Junior KeAira Dickerson finished in 139th place with a time of 26.27.33, followed by freshman Eloisa Parades who finished in 147th place with a time of 26.41.7. Freshman Hughnique Rolle finished in 157th place with a time of 27.16.36, and junior Madison Wrest finished in 161st place with a time of 27.29.66."The Womens' team performance needs improvement and is expected to show improvement by the MET Championships," Marshall said. "Two of our top performers were not major factors, Maura, one of our top athletes had a family commitment and could not participate and Hughnique Rolle is making slow progress because of an injury to her knee."On the men's side, sophomore Austin Tobleman finished in 155th place with a time of 28.52.56, while Junior Dwight Parker ran a time of 29.27.57 to finish in 171st place. Senior Patrick McGovern ranked 174th with a time of 29.28.51. Freshman Mamadou Niang cleared the finish line with a time of 30.17.22 to finish in 189th place. "The Mens team performance should also show improvement," Marshall said, "the team is working hard but simply had little to show for their efforts, two members of the team were struck with illness prior to the meet. Hanko again displayed tremendous talent as he finished as the teams #1 man. This is a great accomplishment for a Frosh, we are very happy with his progress and look forward to the MET championships."Harvard University had the highest overall team score on the women's side at the meet, including the top overall finish by freshman Sammy Silva who was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 22.3543. Kent State University had the highest team score on the men's side. Harbert Okuti (non-collegiate runner) had the fastest time from the men with a time of 25.20.76. Seton Hall will next participate in the Metropolitan Championships on Friday, Oct. 9 also at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx. Josh Jongsma can be reached at


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