Freshman Noah Simatei wins NYIT Invitational, Bears finish fourth in both races

Noah Simatei reaches the final stretch in the lead at the NYIT Invitational.
Noah Simatei reaches the final stretch in the lead at the NYIT Invitational.

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — Noah Simatei's remarkable freshman season continued Saturday.

Simatei defeated the entire field, including Division I competition from Fordham and Seton Hall, to win the NYIT Invitational.

Simatei posted an 8K time of 24:16.03, topping runner-up Jake Simon of Seton Hall (24:23.42).

This was the second annual edition of the NYIT Invitational since it resumed last year on campus after a decade hiatus.

"Knowing how Noah has been training — he's still in the developmental stage of his training process — I was extremely impressed," head coach emeritus Pete Zinno said. "We know the course is a little short. But it's a difficult course. His time, there might be a 30- or 45-second difference between this course and any normal course in the world. But he was able to handle some very good runners from Seton Hall, Fordham and St. Thomas Aquinas and others. We think as the season goes on there will be a huge upswing for him."

In the Division II and III and JUCO competition, the NYIT men's cross country team finished fourth in the 10-team field with an average 8K time of 27:53.64.

The NYIT placed fourth of nine teams, with a 5K time of 23:18.51.

Among the women, Monicha Jebor (20:37.98) and Irene Chepleting (21:07.13) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, among Division II and III and JUCO competitors.

"My goal is to be in the top three in the conference," Zinno said.