PHILADELPHIA – The Felician University men's cross-country team began the 2019 season by finishing in ninth place at the 41st Annual Philadelphia Metropolitan Championship at Belmont Plateau on Saturday morning. The meet was hosted by the Jefferson Rams and the Belmont Plateau Cross-Country Hall of Fame.
Junior Joel Garcia (Passaic, N.J./Passaic) was the frontrunner for Felician. Garcia competed 8,000 meters in 30 minutes, 23.5 seconds. He finished in 41st place out of 121 entrants. Garcia was the Golden Falcons' top performer for the first time since the 2017 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship race.
Senior Jake Thoden (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) was the only other Golden Falcon to finish among the top half of the field. With a time of 31:30.6, Thoden ended up in 55th place.
Rounding out the scoring for Felician were freshman Anthony Sarmiento Rodriguez (Somerset, N.J./Franklin) (84th, 34:00.6), junior Jason Argueta (Fairview, N.J./Cliffside Park) (87th, 34:25.1), and junior Danny Driscoll (Audubon, N.J./Audubon) (91st, 35:41.7).
The Golden Falcons scored 224 points. They were just four points behind eighth-place Caldwell University, and finished 19 ahead of The Lincoln (Pa.) University in 10th.
Rowan University easily captured the team championship with 20 points, putting seven runners among the top 11 finishers. The host Rams were the runners-up with 89 points. Felician was seventh out of eight CACC members in attendance. Rowan sophomore Kevin Lauer won the individual title with a time of 27:33.8, nearly eight seconds faster than senior teammate Jake Caruso.
Belmont Plateau is home to the 2019 CACC Championship on Oct. 27, and the NCAA Division II East Regional Championship on Nov. 9. Felician will return to the course for one more regular-season race – the Jack St. Clair Memorial on Oct 12, also hosted by Jefferson.
Felician has next weekend off before attending the Osprey Open at Stockton University on Sept. 21.