Stonehill claims conference title by slimmest margin among top-three teams in NE-10 history
|Stonehill repeated as Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Champions due to its depth this afternoon. The Skyhawks narrowly defeated two teams for the conference title by thre points. From L to R: Nick Kirkpatrick, Stephen Leonard, Seamus McEvoy, Sam Spencer, Daniel Zawalich, Michael Amirault, Trent Fontanella, Daniel Gordon, Robert Massey, Scott Waller, Sean Hanlon, Bryan Wilcox, Tim Johnson, Nathaniel Webber, Ethan Penney, Paul Cina, Christopher Dooley, Michael Gendron and Brendon Aylaian.|
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (October 20, 2012) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked 12th overall in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Division II national poll and first in the East Regional poll, edged out American International College (AIC) and UMass Lowell to win its second-straight Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) title and sixth overall in program history. The Skyhawks finished in front of the Yellow Jackets and the River Hawks by the smallest combined margin of victory among three teams, three points in all, at Jamesville Beach County Park on a muddy 8-kilometer course earlier this afternoon.
Stonehill posted 60 points behind four top-15 finishes to slip by AIC, 60-61, and UMass Lowell who recorded 63 points for third place overall. The lowest combined total among three competing teams for a conference title prior to today's NE-10 Championships is 26 points which occurred in 2006. During that season, UMass Lowell defeated Stonehill and Southern Connecticut State University by a scores of 24, 47 and 50, respectively.
"I truly think that right now we have the best depth of any team, it was apparent today since we didn't have our best race but we were able to pull it off," said NE-10 Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year Karen Boen. "The beauty of having this depth is knowing that anyone on this roster can be in the top-five on any given day. Every guy on this team matters and it really showed today."
AIC freshman Michael Biwott (Kapsowar, Kenya/Kerio Valley Secondary School) took home NE-10 Men's Cross Country Athlete and Rookie of the Year honors with his first place finish in 24:41.3.
Sophomore Bryan Wilcox (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) led the way for the Skyhawks ranking eighth overall in 25:50.8. Senior tri-captain Tim Johnson (Thomaston, Conn./Thomaston) followed in ninth place with a time of 26:01.1.
"Bryan [Wilcox] is a gamer and he just loves to compete. He is even tempered and even minded and such a team guy," said Boen of Wilcox's contributions to Stonehill this season. "He is never interested in his own performance. Bryan cares much more about the team's performance. He stepped up for us today and it and it showed in the results."
Senior captain Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep) crossed the finish line in 13th place with a time of 26:08.5 while junior Michael Amirault (Walpole, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) checked in at 14th overall in 26:11.4.
All four runners, Wilcox, Johnson, Hanlon and Amirault, were named to the NE-10 All-Conference Second Team for their efforts.
Sophomore Daniel Gordon (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) rounded out the top-5 with a 16th place finish overall with a time of 26:15.0. Senior captain Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) ranked 18th overall in 26:18.6 and junior Stephen Leonard (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) was 23rd overall to fill out the Skyhawks top-seven runners. Gordon and Penney earned spots on the NE-10 All-Conference Third Team for their performances.
"In cross country your top-seven runners always get the recognition but basically I feel that I am coaching two teams and the entire roster are contributors, from runners outside of our top-seven and our other team members," said Boen in regards to Stonehill's overall team effort today on the men's and women's sides both on the course and off of it. "Both of our wins today just aren't about the top-seven on each squad it's about this entire team, top-to-bottom, on both sides."
No. 12/1 Stonehill returns to action on Sunday, November 4 at the NCAA Division II East Regionals in Nashua, N.H. at Mines Falls Park. The Skyhawks will look to clinch their tenth-straight trip to the NCAA Championships.
Northeast-10 Year End Awards
Men's Athlete / Rookie of the Year – Michael Biwott, American Int'l
Men's Coach of the Year – Karen Boen, Stonehill
Northeast-10 Men's Cross Country First Team All-Conference
Michael Biwott, American Int'l
Jeff Veiga, UMass Lowell
Glarius Rop, American Int'l
Brian Nill, So. Connecticut
Eric McDonald, UMass Lowell
Andrew Coelho, Adelphi
Rob Dextradeur, Bentley
Northeast-10 Men's Cross Country Second Team All-Conference
Bryan Wilcox, Stonehill
Tim Johnson, Stonehill
Joshua Perry, So. Connecticut
Chris Estrella, UMass Lowell
Jason Phillips, American Int'l
Sean Hanlon, Stonehill
Michael Amirault, Stonehill
Northeast-10 Men's Cross Country Third Team All-Conference
Sean Maguire, Bentley
Daniel Gordon, Stonehill
John Drago, Bentley
Ethan Penney, Stonehill
Colton Ham, Franklin Pierce
Brendan Adams, UMass Lowell
Jeremy Antivo, American Int'l