WCC Competes in NJCAA Cross Country Championship
Martorello fourth from left, Colon second to right. (Photo: Courtesy of Gowccvikings.com)
For the first time in 35 years, WCC had an athlete compete in NJCAA Cross Country championship. The honor was accomplished by not one, but two WCC athletes.
These athletes are Selina Colon and Tom Martorello, both of whom showed outstanding athletic prowess leading up to the championship.
In spite of only returning about a year ago, the Cross Country program has made leaps and bounds in terms of its success. One year ago the men’s team competed for and won a mid hudson title.
Colon and Martorello are no strangers to achieving greatness through the use of their legs. “I’ve been running since I was 18, I’ve ran in two marathons, and in the Marine Corps as well,” said 23 year-old Martorello.
Colon’s accomplishments date back even further. “While I was in high school, I was a two-time states athlete, league champion for three years straight, multiple time all-league, all-county, all-section, all-state athlete. I also hold all the running records in my high school,” said Colon as she listed some of her many accomplishments.
Colon started running in the 7th grade, while she achieved most of her success in high school she also did compete at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts.
“It was great to be back, I was in nationals two times for high school but I had an injury that kept me away from running for two years,” said Colon. “Just being around it, it’s like ‘oh my God I have this talent and I’m surrounded by all these people who just as crazy as me.’”
The team’s success is due in no small part to head coach Tom Nugent. Who has made, and continues to make, incredible progress as his second year as a head coach comes to a close.
Under Nugent’s watch the 2016 men’s team won the Mid-Hudson Championship for the first time since 1969. This also isn’t his first time coaching championship caliber talent. While at Stepinac he produced a three-time All-American sprinter and 2000 National Indoor 200-meter champion Carlos Bedoya.
According to gowccvikings.com Nugent competed athletically at Scarsdale High School in Track and Cross-Country earning eight All-County nods. His college career included competing for Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California and the University of Houston.
Nugent’s nose for success has certainly rubbed off on the players he is coaching. “Training for nationals was such hard work and it required constant dedication,” Martorello said. “I love every moment though and always had great coaches and parents to support me.”
Martorello placed 78th and set his personal best time 29 minutes and 45 seconds for the 8k race. These numbers were compared against 200 other participants.
Colon finished as Region XV’s third finisher, placing 21st overall and just outside All-American status. She crossed the finish line at 20:55 over the 5K course.
Unfortunately, both will not be returning next season. The WCC community wishes them the best in their future endeavors.