Sept. 8, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's cross country team kicks off its 2017 season on Saturday at the 37th annual Ed Joyce Fordham Fiasco (5K). This marks the Red Storm's first of two trips to historic Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx this season.
"We will have a young team this fall," said Head Coach Jim Hurt. "We are headed up by senior Melissa Hidalgo, junior Elizabeth Costantino, and sophomores Stephanie Gerland, Jackie Gallagher, and Therese Gallagher."
St. John's will be without its top runner from last year, Antonia Howard, as the All-East runner from a season ago will redshirt the 2017 slate.
"With Antonia out, we then need Stephanie, Jackie, and Theresa to form a tight pack in close proximity to Melissa & Elizabeth to score low for us," Hurt said. "Each of our top five has talent and competes well so we are looking forward to a very successful season."
The Johnnies head into the Fordham Fiasco coming off a fifth-place finish last season at the event. The meet also saw the Red Storm finish with five different runners place in the top-50.
"The Fordham Fiasco honors St. John's alumnus and longtime Fordham Coach Ed Joyce, and will test our team over the vaunted hills of Van Cortlandt Park," said Hurt on the team's first meet of the season.
This year's squad will be led by a pair of experienced runners in Melissa Hidalgo and Elizabeth Costantino. The duo enjoyed breakout seasons in 2016, and will be looked upon to lead a young group into 2017.
"The experience from a year ago should be valuable in knowing how to race at the top collegiate level," said Hurt on Hidalgo and Costantino.
Hidalgo enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2016 as the Pompton Lakes, N.J., native set new personal-best times for 4K, 5K and 6K races while recording three top-50 finishes including the BIG EAST Championships in October. Hidalgo also competed at the NCAA Northeast Regional for the Red Storm.
As a sophomore, Costantino erupted for a pair of top-10 finishes with personal bests in the 4K and 5K. The criminal justice major finished eighth at the Metropolitan Championships and in the top-45 at the BIG EAST Championships. Costantino was awarded All-East Honors at the 2016 ECAC Championships.
The Ed Joyce Fordham Fiasco begins at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday.
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