Boys Cross Country Team Has A Strong Showing at Manhattan Invitational Race

Monroe-Woodbury High School outperformed hundreds of schools at the Manhattan College Invitational Cross Country Race on October 8. 

The annual invitational was held at Van Cortlandt Park where hundreds of teams from across the East Coast competed.

The Monroe-Woodbury Boys Varsity team achieved first place in their designated race out of 25 schools and JV team placed third in their race out of 27 competitors. 

There were six participants representing the varsity team and 32 for the JV team.

“The meet was rather relaxed. With 700 schools and thousands and thousands of kids, you shouldn’t stress too much about it as it’s out of your control,” said Mr. Hemmer, coach of the boys cross country team.

Monroe-Woodbury was invited to the invitational as a result of its performance during the fall season, outperforming many local schools such as Middletown, Kingston and Pine Bush.

Colin Gilstrap of Monroe-Woodbury won the varsity race of over 200 runners, finishing the four-kilometer track in 12 minutes and 37.5 seconds. Siddharth Ranganathan scored the highest of all the Monroe-Woodbury students at the JV race, finishing the same track in 14 minutes and 23.8 seconds.

“I was most proud of the fact that we were still able to win quite handily without their third best runner being able to compete due to a sustained injury prior to the race,” said Mr. Hemmer.

“I feel great and proud about getting the team to a good spot in the race. I am really confident for what the future holds,” said Ranganathan when asked about how he felt about winning the race.

 “I’m looking forward to seeing this fun Manhattan course, this bus ride, and the way home, and seeing my team win,” said Garrett Rostkowski, runner for J.V. team.

“The cross country kids had started training midsummer for a summer training 2x a week in various locations. Training regimens were also put into place for the athletes,” said Mr. Hemmer.  

Based on information from, Monroe-Woodbury has competed within the Manhattan College Invitational for 20 years, consistently scoring within the top three.

“They will carry on what they learned when they (Juniors and Seniors) were freshmen, they were following a great team back then back in 2019. And they carried on the tradition,” said Mr. Hemmer.