Bronx, NY - The Manhattan College Athletic Department has announced that the 2021 Manhattan College Cross Country Invitational will again be contested at Van Cortlandt Park on the nation's most storied cross country course. The New York City event also includes both the prestigious Boy's and Girl's Eastern States Championship elite races.
The 2020 event was cancelled due to the global pandemic and was temporarily replaced by virtual races and events.
"We are delighted that we will be able to again stage the Manhattan College Cross Country Invitational at legendary Van Cortlandt Park. This is the event and the cross country course that high school runners of all abilities look forward to all year long. Following a challenging year of COVID related disruptions and changes, it will be great for Manhattan College to again deliver a great experience for these young runners," said former professional miler Kerri Gallagher who was recently promoted to Director of Cross Country, Track at Field at Manhattan College, which is adjacent to Van Cortlandt Park.
Manhattan College is still finalizing its race day, competition schedule that will be determined and subsequently announced at a later date. The College is committed to a safe race travel and competition Invitational environment for the runners and coaches; and is closely following federal, New York State and New York City health and safety guidelines. Recently, the New York City Marathon announced that its November, 2021 race through NYC's five boroughs, will resume after a one-year, COVID absence albeit with a reduced field of 33,000 competitors.
As part of the 49th annual event, the Manhattan College Runner's Expo will take place on Friday evening, October 8. Plans are still being finalized for this on-site as well as virtual event that in 2019 included a panel by noted NCAA college coaches discussing the opportunities and challenges for high school athletes competing at the college level. There was also a pasta dinner for the runners sponsored by Baldor and Gourmet Dining that included a keynote address by US Olympic silver-medalist and HOKA runner Leo Manzano.
Founded in 1972 by renowned high school coach and Manhattan College Hall of Fame runner Ed Bowes, the Manhattan College Cross Country Invitational quickly grew into the nation's largest, single-day, scholastic cross country meet with 10,000 runners competing in over 40-races at Van Cortlandt. Ed Gorman, a former collegiate coach currently serving as Associate Director of Championship Programs for USA Track & Field, and Phil Zodda, another long time, cross country & track official, are co-meet directors.
Situated in the northwest corner of New York City, Van Cortlandt Park is renowned in cross country circles as the venue where harrier greats such as Steve Prefontaine, Marty Liquori, Matt Centrowitz & Alberto Salazar first rose to prominence as high school and college runners. In more recent years, Mary Cain, Edward Cheserek and Katelyn Tuohy have established course records over the challenging "Vannie" hills and flats.
The Ed Bowes Girl's Eastern States Championship will again be contested as one of the featured races at the 2021 Manhattan College Invitational. Former North Rockland (NY) High School runner Katelyn Tuohy, who currently competes at NC State, won the last three Girl's Eastern States individual titles including a Van Cortlandt course record 13:21.8 clocking as a sophomore in 2018.
Allentown (NJ) Liam Murphy, currently a Villanova sophomore, won the 2019 Peter Aquilone Memorial Boy's Eastern States crown at the Manhattan College event with a time of 12:15.2.
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