RIT's Cross Country program had a terrific day on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the 2014 NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship, which was held on a sunny morning at Genesse Valley Park. Both the men's and women's teams took home significant honors, each demonstrating wonderful performances from a host of talented athletes.

Coming off of the Regional Championship with great qualifying times, fourth year Mechanical Engineering major Matt Giannino and second year Game Design and Development major Emma Jones will represent RIT at the 2014 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship this coming Saturday, Nov. 22 at Wilmington College in Mason, Ohio.

Giannino, who has proven himself to be a true force of nature this season by winning five out of the six races he has participated in and racking up several Liberty League titles, bested 284 other runners on Saturday to take home a first place title for RIT—the university's first since 1996. Jones also ran a fantastic race on Saturday, placing 14th overall and netting her RIT's fourth-best ever individual time at the Atlantic Regional Championship.

At the Championship on Saturday, Giannino's first place finish, coupled with some other tremendous performances, led the men's team to an overall 10th place finish out of 41 participating teams with 278 points. Fourth year New Media Design and Imaging major Andrew Bernardo accomplished a strong finish to his collegiate career with an impressive time of 26:21.6, placing him 56th overall. Third year University Studies major Jon Pelzar was close behind with a time of 26:24.0 and a 58th place finish, and third year Computer Science major Grant Salk put down a time of 26:24.2 and a 74th place finish. First year Computer Engineering major Tommy Papish also ran an impressive race with a time of 26:54.1, placing him 89th overall, and first year New Media Design major James Bailey placed 94th overall with a time of 27:00.3.

RIT's women's team also had a great race at the Championship. Fourth year Engineering major Kaylin Beiter chalked up an impressive time of 22:40.4, placing her 32nd overall and earning her All-Region honors. Third year Biotechnology major Becky Greiner finished 42nd with a time of 22:52.4, placing her right behind Beiter. Third year Nutritional Management major Kristine Reed finished 55th with another impressive time of 23:14.5, and fourth year Metal Crafts and Jewelry major Amanda White finished 70th with a time of 23:26.2. Other impressive performances were seen from fourth year Liberal Arts major Stephanie Millci, who finished 84th with a time of 23:29.8, and third year Mechanical Engineering major Alicia Sutphin, who finished 103rd with a time of 24:00.1.

This was a particularly eventful NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship for RIT's Cross Country program. Both the men's and women's teams took home some great honors, and RIT is sending two key players off to the Division II championships this coming weekend. All in all, this is a great time to be a cross country fan at RIT.