Cross Country Sweeps Athletics Department Student-Athletes of the Week

Cross Country Sweeps Athletics Department Student-Athletes of the Week
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Western New England University cross country runners Kirsten White (Appleton, Wis./Kimberly High School) and Jonathan Ricciardi (Pattersonville, N.Y./Schalmont HS) have been selected as the Golden Bear Student-Athletes of the Week, it was announced on Wednesday. Both honorees were named rookies of the week by the Commonwealth Coast Conference on Monday.

A sophomore in her first season competing in cross country since high school, White has been impressive so far on the Western New England women's squad. For the third consecutive meet, White was the first Golden Bear to touch the finishing line with a career-best time of 19 minutes and 31.41 seconds for 5-kilometers, which is the second-fastest time in school history, at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational. The health sciences major placed 48th out of 272 individuals while shaving 1 minute and 34 seconds off her personal record.

Ricciardi repeated as the top finisher for the Golden Bears with an 8K time of 27:41.67 at the event hosted by the Corsairs in North Dartmouth. That signals the fourth-best time ever in the WNE men's program, as he competed in just his second event of that distance. Ricciardi hasn't yet declared a major.

This marks the first time for either student-athlete to receive CCC Rookie of the Week and top weekly billing from the athletics department.