QUEENS, N.Y. – Junior Victor Ricci (Narragansett, R.I.) completed what was a banner week by claiming the top spot at the St. John’s Fall Cross Country Festival, besting 29 other competitors at the 6K meet hosted at Cunningham Park.
Ricci recorded a time of 19:35.94 to finish atop the field just days after being named the Pirates’ first BIG EAST Male Cross Country Athlete of the Week since transitioning exclusively to the sport. Ricci has now led The Hall in three of five outings this fall and has scored in all but one.
Sophomore Jeff Larson (Yucca Valley, Calif.) crossed the line just under 11 seconds after Ricci to claim runner-up honors with a time of 19:46.88. It was the third-straight top-three team finish for Larson who has turned in four such efforts in five events this season.
Classmate Louis Bustamante (Hamburg, N.J.) just missed cracking the 20-minute mark with a fourth-place time of 20:04.15. Bustamante has contributed to the scoring group four times in five appearances; ranking among the top-three for SHU three times.
Junior Alex Mallue (Canton, Ohio) edged out another sophomore in Jake Simon (Freehold, N.J.) at the finish to earn fifth-place overall and rank fourth on the team. Mallue’s time of 20:15.44 narrowly eclipsed Simon’s 20:15.78 mark as the two charged towards the line in unison.
For Mallue, it was his first scoring time of 2015 but also his third top-30 finish while Simon extended his scoring streak to three with a sixth-place showing.
The Pirates will be off from competition this weekend before heading to Mason, Ohio to take on the top runners in the conference at the 2015 BIG EAST Championships on Saturday, October 31.