Lady Bearcats focused on comeback season

It has been nearly eight years since the women’s cross country team won their first CUNYAC championships. Since then, the Bearcats have dominated the conference by winning a total of four CUNYAC titles.

Head coach Ariadne Mui, who will be entering her eighth season with the team, is a large reason for the Bearcats’ success over the recent years.

Her distinguished style of coaching comes from her ability to relate with the runners; she ran for the team herself during her undergraduate years at Baruch. Coach Mui served as the team captain in her senior year and was also the winner of Baruch’s Ira Zasloff Service Award in 1997.

In addition to the big efforts by the coaching staff, the Bearcats have had a share of its own elite runners in the past. Last year, Maria Gronau placed in first place at the CUNYAC championships with a time of 25:03.8. Gronau became the second Bearcat in a row to place first at the championships. Her outstanding performance throughout the season earned her the title of 2014 CUNYAC Performer of the Year.

Lina Cruz was the next to score for the Bearcats, and she completed the 6k in a solid time at 28:53.56. The 2014 CUNYAC All-Star did not run her best time of the season in the championships, however, her time earned her a top-15 medal.

Unfortunately, Gronau and Cruz did not receive much help from the rest of the team to capture their third consecutive CUNYAC title. The Bearcats struggled in depth, and the team ultimately fell to fifth place.

It was the first time since 2008 that Baruch did not place in first or second at the championships.

Now, with less than a month remaining before the team’s first meet at the Baruch Invitational 6k, the Bearcats will attempt to bounce back and redeem themselves for their lackluster season last fall.

With returning senior runners in Gronau and Rosalie Nash as well as a rising star in Linda Bezdekova, the Bearcats will need to muster up everything in their arsenal to avoid another slump next season. The Bearcats are motivated to return.

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