Today: Jun 17, 2024

Volpe leads Owls to another NE10 Chamopionship

Matt Cain – Contributor

Around this same time last year, the Owls cross country team held up the NE10 conference championship. This year, they did it again as the men and women had a clean sweep of the conference. The women won their first conference title in program history, while the men won their third consecutive title. 

 A key piece to the team this year was junior Jonathan Volpe. Volpe notified his teammates, coaches and the rest of the conference in 2021 as he received second-team all-conference as a freshman. Volpe finished second overall in the conference meet. 

He has become a valuable piece to the distance and cross country program. This year, he received first-team all-conference, and with the help of his teammates, Volpe believes he can achieve more accolades for himself and the team.   

“The practices are tough, but just sticking with each other and pushing each other- that’s what’s going to help us win,” Volpe said.  

On the team, Volpe is the most “reliable source” as the team would say. Throughout his running career as an Owl, Volpe has made it to every practice and had a next-man-up mentality. The knowledge that he now has from previous big meets is now paying off in a big way. 

He is the one pushing his teammates in the workouts, and the distance guys follow his lead because of his ability to show up in every single meet.  Jeremy Rivera, a sophomore, is Jonathan’s number one training partner and go-to teammate.  

“Johnny is one of the most reliable athletes on the team. It’s great Training with him,” Rivera said.  

Rivera and Volpe were a dynamic duo in the conference meet. Riviera finished two spots behind Volpe securing the fourth spot. Together, they combined for 10 points toward the Owls’ victory.  

The next task at hand is the NCAA Division ll East regionals. Volpe already has his sights set on helping his teammates come out with the win.  

“We gotta ban together and push my teammates to get the win,” Volpe said.  

As said before, Volpe put the coaching staff on notice last year. Now that the cross-country team consists of a younger group of guys, Volpe stands out. Assistant Coach Brian Nill was very pleased with what he saw not just from Volpe, but from the whole group that was put together.  

“Building a tight-knit group always helps, especially as the meets get bigger,” Nill said.  

Being that Volpe led the Owls in the race and got an all-conference nod, all seven of the runners followed right behind as the rest of the Owls became all-conference as well. Nill was very pleased with the team’s performance, with Volpe leading the way.  

“Having all seven runners becoming all-conference was great. This is something that is not said very often but understood,” Nill said.  

 Volpe is having a great year so far. Even with all the challenges this season, Volpe and the team now have one goal on their mind going forward: the NCAA Nationals.  

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