Newark, NJ-- The RVCC men's and women's cross country team traveled to Branch Brook Park in Sunday to participate in the Region XIX Cross Country Championships. In the Division III men's 8k race, freshman Robert Spies finished in second place with a formidable time of 28:25 with an average mile of 5:43. Including the Division I participants, only three runners had a better time than Spies. Freshman Collin Diedhiou took 12th place with a time of 29:45. In the Division III women's 5k race, freshman Diana Jimenez finished in 13th place with a time of 23:03.
Spies will continue his phenomenal season in the NJCAA Division III National Championships at Finger Lakes Community College in Canadigua, NY on November 12th. Head Coach Patty Rivas credited Spies, saying "Rob has worked hard all season and I never had a doubt that he would qualify for nationals. He's got a great work ethic and is committed to improving every day at practice. I'm excited to see what he can do at the national championships". Spies has excelled in each race this season. He took 12th place in the NJIT Invitational with a time of 27:23, and in the Luzerne Invitational the Hampton, NJ native finished in 2nd place with a time of 27:48.
This marks the third consecutive season where a member of the RVCC cross country team will run in Nationals, as Jake Thoden qualified last year and Jessica Rutledge did in 2014. Congratulations Rob!