Make it two straight for Jim Macnider and the Harper men’s cross country program.
The Hawks, led by an individual championship from Troy Cunningham, repeated as NJCAA champions with a dominant performance Saturday in Delhi, N.Y.
Harper finished with 59 points, well ahead of runner-up Gloucester (N.J.) 98 and Delhi (115).
“I’m proud of our guys, and happy for them,” Macnider said.
Cunningham, who ran on both title teams, covered the 8k course in 27:53, four seconds ahead of the runner-up.
Harper’s Colin Weber took fourth in 28:25, and the Hawks also got key efforts from freshmen Josh Campos (18th, 29:27), Nick Modlin (19th, 29:37), Johan Lino (27th, 29:54), Vince Greco (40th, 30:33) and Zach Gates (45th, 30:43).
Macnider said one key was simply convincing his runners to bide their time and stick to the plan. He was hoping Harper’s depth could be a factor.
“A big part of it was being patient enough,” he said. “This is a very hilly course, the kind where runners tend to come back to the pack later in the race. That’s what they did, and our guys were ready.”
Weber’s contribution was key. After a subpar track season last spring, it was discovered he was battling an iron deficiency. That problem was corrected, much to Macnider’s delight.
“Last year, he was our ninth guy and didn’t even make the trip (to nationals),” Macnider said.
ź In the 5k women’s race, Harper had two individuals competing, Jordan Wagner and Gabby Beaupre. Wagner placed fifth in 21:00, and Beaupre was 73rd in 25:59.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.