Penelope Greene Wins First Ever Collegiate Cross Country Race

Sag Harbor native and SUNY Geneseo freshman Penelope Greene won her first ever collegiate race, the Rodenbeck Invitational at St. John Fisher College this past Saturday, September 4. TESS DUIGNAN/SUNY GENESEO ATHLETICS

Penelope Greene made a name for herself in Sag Harbor, running for the Pierson girls cross country team for four years and winning a pair of Suffolk County cross country titles before moving on to college. Now it seems she’s ready to make a name for herself at SUNY Geneseo.

In her very first race, the Rodenbeck Invitational at St. John Fisher College in Rochester on Friday, September 3, Greene topped the field, winning the 4K race in 15:10.7 and leading the Knights to a first place finish.

Greene admitted she was not expecting to win the race.

“I did not think it was going to happen,” she said, with a laugh, “but I’m happy I did. It felt really good.”


Greene said she started the race with a fairly decent lead, one she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to maintain. Halfway through the nearly 2.5-mile race, Greene fell back as far as fourth place, but after the second lap she passed a pair of runners from the Rochester Institute of Technology, then sprinted the last couple of meters to win the race.

RIT junior Katie Cobos placed second about three seconds after Greene crossed the finish line. RIT senior Taylor Domico placed third in 15:20.2 and St. John Fisher junior Riley Corey finished fourth in 15:29.3.

Then a trio of Geneseo freshman — Greta Flanagan (15:41.9), Kaitlyn Grossman (15:42.8) and Emily Miller (15:44.3) — finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, which basically helped clinch the race, along with Greene’s first-place finish. RIT finished second with 50 points, followed by St. John Fisher (67), Rochester (107), Nazareth (120) and Alfred (185).

Greene made the move up to Geneseo about three weeks ago, getting there a week earlier than most students for a preseason week with the cross country team. She started classes last week and is now full steam ahead into her freshman year.

“It’s been good, so far,” she said. “Preseason week was really hot, so training was kind of difficult. It’s started to cool down a lot up here so it’s getting better. Classes are going well so far, practice is good. I couldn’t be happier.”

Greene and Geneseo are now gearing up for their next race, the Maribel Sanchez Southern Invitational hosted by Dartmouth College, which will be this Saturday, September 11, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Although she’s coming off a victory, Greene is tempering expectations for that race.

“I don’t think I will win this race,” Greene joked. “I just hope to place reasonably well.”