Cross Country
The 9 seniors from the Mount Saint Mary College Cross Country Team. (Photo courtesy of Coach Fred Callo)

by Jac Bergenson

“I am a big believer that if you’re going to do something, then do it right.”

Coach Callo, now in his eighth season as the men’s and women’s cross country coach at Mount Saint Mary College, has coached his teams toward success by rousing their work ethic.

“My philosophy and approach to coaching my athletes is that you get out of it what you put into it,” says Callo. “And that is never more evident than on race day.”

His teams have evidently put in their work. The women have earned three first-place finishes on the season, as well as a second- and a third-place finish; the men have also earned a first-place and a second-place finish.

After putting up strong showings in recent meets, Callo has “high expectations for significant improvement come Skyline this year,” referring to the Skyline Conference Championships of October 27.  The Knights finished 7th in the conference last year.

Callo credits Victoria Wresilo, a senior from Shelton, Conn., and Ian Brink, a senior from Wallkill, and men’s team captain, as standouts.  He notes that Wresilo has “committed and pushed herself to regain her previous form,” calling her “our most improved runner.”

Of Brink, Callo cites his “attitude of no regrets, consistently working his tail off,” as the reason for his success.

Brink similarly lauded his coach, saying that he is, “so passionate about helping us succeed beyond just cross country. He’s there to help my teammates and I every step of the way, and always has our back.”

“We can joke, and be honest with one another,” says Brink.  “He’s a great person, and I wouldn’t want to be coached by anyone else.”

Callo works closely with his Assistant Coach Pete Carofano, an MSMC alumnus, now in his second year with the team. Callo calls Carofano a “real joy,” who “brings new ideas and an enthusiasm for coaching that shows every day.”

With cross-country season winding down and indoor track and field season right around the corner, Callo has his athletes “ready to get it started.”

The team has “40 male and female athletes,” on the roster, which Callo says is “double what we had just two years ago.”

The first meet of the upcoming season is Saturday, Dec. 7.