By Erin Dickinson ’24, Staff Writer
For the first time in program history, St. John Fisher will be represented at the NCAA Cross Country Championships this coming Saturday, November 20.
Junior Riley Corey qualified for the sport’s national championship after running to a 4th place finish in the Niagara Regional Qualifier. Her time of 23:08.0 for the 6,000 meter race placed her among the top of the field of 141 runners and garnered an All-Region selection.
For Corey, qualification to the national meet was the realization of a season-long goal.
“Nationals was definitely the ultimate goal for me, whether that was with my entire team or just making it as an individual,” Corey said. “As the season went on, this goal started to become more and more achievable.”
While Corey has competed in eight meets this season for the Cardinals, she says this meet will be different than the rest.
“I am here alone without my team also racing with me,” said Corey, who considers her teammates to be her best friends. “I would say that my favorite thing about cross country is the team aspect. Although cross country is very much an individual sport, I have such a strong bond with everyone on my team.”
Head Coach Mike Henchen, who works closely with Corey year-round and calls her a “pure pleasure” to work with, sees her accomplishment as a huge leap forward for the entire program.
“As the first Fisher woman cross country athlete to qualify for the National XC Championship, Riley has not only set the standard for other Fisher athletes to attain but has also demonstrated that Cardinal Cross Country is worthy of a spot on the National stage. Her tremendous achievement has certainly propelled the reputation of our Cardinal cross country program.”
The historic nature of Corey’s achievement is not lost on her, either.
“I am so proud to be able to represent my school at the national championship. I am so excited to be here in Kentucky representing a small private college in Rochester, N.Y.”
Corey and 412 other competitors are set to take off noon on Saturday at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Fans can use the following links to follow Corey through her historic NCAA run: