Captain of the Cross Country team, Chris Delvecchio at the Skyline Championship. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/MSMCKnights)

by Nick Mancuso and Mike Reistetter

We were pleased to sit down for an exclusive interview with Sophomore Cross Country Runner, Chris Delvecchio. He is the captain of the Cross-Country team, and an education and history major here at the Mount. Chris and the Knights Cross Country team are just recently coming off a huge victory at the Skyline Cross Country Championship. It was the first time in school history that the Mount’s Men’s Cross-Country team has won the Skyline Championship.

 

Q: So Chris, I know you guys just won the Skyline Championship. Tell me, how did the race go?

A: The race felt like any other race to me.  Everyone was excited. Anticipation filled the air, (with) the usual pre-race nerves on the line. The gun went off and all the nerves went away. “It was just another race,”  I told myself as we started. I did well, setting a new PR (personal record) at our home course by 15 seconds, going from 30:16 previously to 30:01. During the race, my mind just goes blank. It is the best feeling to just have an empty mind, because running is just as mental as it is physical, if not more. Coming down that home stretch, that last 200, I just gave it everything I had. I didn’t look back. I just focused on the finish line and kept pumping.

 

Q: Now I know you have been the top runner on the team for the majority of the season. But in the past few meets, how have other runners been stepping up?

A: I think it’s great to see them stepping up. It shows just how far we have come since the beginning of the season. If one of us doesn’t have a good race, we have other guys that can step up and become a key component in helping us win. An example of this would be Brian Robinson on Sunday, who beat out a St. Joe’s (Saint Joseph’s College) kid. He stepped up for the team when it was needed most. It’s good that our team is so close at times, because no one has the press ure of having to win the whole race for us to win a meet. We run in small packs and advance as much as we can during the race and pull the other guys along with us. The times are personal but when it comes down to wins and losses, it’s a team effort.

 

Q: In preparing for this fall season, what was your training like this past summer?

A: My summer training started a few weeks after school ended in May. It started out with four days of 30-minute runs, and then five days of 45 to 50 minute runs. Then after that, the real training began. I started at 35 miles and ended with 60 miles a week. I came up for pre-season at the end of the summer, two weeks before school started. I logged almost 600 miles this summer.

 

Q. How did it feel to be first MSMC Skyline champion, and why was this important to you?

A: It’s a great feeling to be the first (MSMC) team to win Skylines! We proved so many people wrong. When we saw we were ranked 4th in the polls, that was when we knew they didn’t see us as a team that could compete. After our first meet at SUNY Purchase, that was when we sent a message to the rest of our conference that MSMC is a team that can contend and fight, and with each meet we kept getting better and became a stronger team. It’s important because it’s our first one, and we have shown that a team of underclassmen can do what everyone thought was impossible. It’s a great feeling to know that all our hard work from the summer, pre-season, and the regular season paid off and culminated in this win. We were the underdogs the whole way and proved that we had what it took to compete and contend for the title.

 

Q: What are your goals for the rest of the season?

A: My goals for the rest of the season are to compete to the best of my abilities, do well this Sunday, and then at regionals my goal is (to place) in the top 60 or better and to try and run 27:30 or better; end the season on a strong note, and then keep it going during the indoor and outdoor track seasons.

Congratulations to The Men’s Cross Country team for becoming the first team in the school’s history to win the Skyline Conference Championship. If you wish to follow Chris and the rest of his teammates during the remainder of their season, schedules and weekly results are included coverage on the Mount’s athletic page, www.msmcknights.com.