The cheer “Finish Strong” is often heard at running races. In its first season of competition, the Tompkins Cortland Community College cross country team did just that. On Saturday, the Panthers took part in the NJCAA Region III Championship, and all six runners finished their first season by posting their personal best times of the year. As a team, the Panthers finished in 8th place with a score of 183.
The Tompkins Cortland Community College cross country team continues to make history in its inaugural season. Taking part in the Mid-State Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, Robert Brehm (Groton/Groton H.S.) put his name in the record book as the first Panther runner ever to earn all-conference honors, thanks to his sixth-place finish. As a team, Tompkins Cortland finished fifth out of the seven schools in the MSAC.
The Tompkins Cortland Community College cross country team made the long trip to Hamburg, New York Saturday to take part in a very special event, the Meghan Memorial Race, hosted by Hilbert College. The race honors the memory of Meghan Sorbera, a Hilbert cross country runner who suffered fatal injuries from a hit-and-run car accident in October 2008, and the sister of current Panther runner Tanner Sorbera (Burlington Flats/Edmeston H.S.). As a whole, the Panthers had a strong showing and, fittingly, Tanner set a new personal record for the 5k.
The learning continues for the first-year cross country program at Tompkins Cortland Community College. On Saturday, the Panthers took part in the Mike Woods Invitational hosted by SUNY Geneseo. As the only two-year college among the field of 24 teams, the Panthers posted a team score of 772. Geneseo won the event with a score of 33, followed by Ithaca College in second with a score of 78. SUNY Cortland was ninth with a 292.
The second week of the new cross country season found the Panthers taking part in the Oneonta Airfield Invitational, hosted by SUNY Oneonta. Racing in a strong field made up almost entirely of four-year schools, the Panthers had four runners cross the finish line, including three runners that posted better times than last week. Robert Brehm (Groton/Groton H.S.) was the first Panther, running a 32:28 on the 8k course, nearly matching his time from last week (32:27). Brehm was the 35th individual runner.
History was made Saturday as the first cross country team ever fielded by Tompkins Cortland Community College took part in the Bruce Bridgeman Invitational hosted by Finger Lakes Community College. Six Panthers ran in the field of 50 runners, with Robert Brehm (Groton/Groton H.S.) taking the honors as the first Tompkins Cortland runner to ever cross a finish line, finishing in 14th place with a time of 32:27 on the 8k course. The race was won by Hunter Brignall from Finger Lakes with a time of 28:26. Finger Lakes took the team title with a score of 55; Tompkins Cortland was seventh with a score of 163.