GENESEO, N.Y. – The SUNY Geneseo men's cross country team kicks off the 2018 campaign this Friday at the Cardinal Early Season Invitational at St. John Fisher. Here are six things to know about the Knights heading into the season.
1. GENESEO WILL BE IN THE HUNT FOR THEIR 16TH-STRAIGHT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCE
Fourth-year head coach Dan Moore looks to guide the Knights to their 16th-consecutive NCAA Division III Championship appearance. Geneseo just missed its seventh top-10 finish in the last 10 seasons with an 11th-place showing last November.
2. ISAAC GARCIA-CASSANI DOESN'T HAVE ANY ELIGIBILITY LEFT
Isaac Garcia-Cassani graduated in May as one of the top distance runners in program history. Only the second three-time cross country All-American to wear a Knights uniform, he was the first to finish in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships for three-straight seasons, notching fourth and sixth-place showings the last two years, respectively, to follow up an eighth-place effort as a sophomore. The two-time Atlantic Region Champion swept the last three individual SUNYAC Championships as well.
3. NO TEAM HAS EVER WON FOUR-CONSECUTIVE ATLANTIC REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS
Geneseo will be in the running for its fourth-consecutive NCAA Atlantic Region Championship. The Knights became only the second team to win three-in-a-row last year and were the first since Rochester achieved the feat from 1994-96. Senior John Ripa is the Knights' top returning finisher after crossing the finish line 29th, followed by junior Jack Tate in 44th a season ago.
4. THE DRIVE FOR FIVE SUNYAC CHAMPIONSHIPS IS ON
Geneseo won its fourth-consecutive SUNYAC Championship last October, placing seven runners in the top-14. Junior Sean McAneny looks to improve on a ninth-place effort and returns with Tate (11th), junior Justin Hoelzl (12th), and Ripa (14th) looking to clinch the team's ninth championship in the last 10 years. Geneseo owns a record 17 SUNYAC titles in the 55-year history of the event, two more than any other program.
5. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES
Geneseo owns the longest streak in Division III for qualifying both its men's and women's teams to the NCAA Cross Country Championships at 15 years. The Knights' women will be in the hunt for their 20th-consecutive appearance at the national championships, while the men's seek their 16th.
6. MARK YOUR CALENDAR (2018 Schedule)
Geneseo is scheduled to compete on seven dates during the regular season, including the 38th-Annual Mike Woods Invitational at the Letchworth State Park High Banks Recreation Area (Sept. 29). Fredonia will host the SUNYAC Championship (Oct. 27) before Rowan (N.J.) hosts the Atlantic Region Championships (Nov. 10) two weeks later. Ocean Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisc. will be the site of the NCAA Division III Championships (Nov. 17).