Senior Dan Gordon is Stonehill's most experienced NE-10 Championship performer, with 16th and two 20th place finishes over the last four seasons, respectively.
Skyhawks ranked first in East Region
EASTON, Mass. (October 23, 2015) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked 20th overall in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Division II national poll and first in the East Regional poll, will compete for its fourth Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) championship in the past five years this Sunday in Colchester, Vermont, hosted by Saint Michael's College.
Stonehill enters the 2015 NE-10 Championships this weekend as the coach's favorite to capture the conference title with 194 points and 12 first place votes. Last year's conference champions American International College, came in at number two in the polls with 182 points and three first place nods. Rounding out the top five of the pre-championship coach's poll is Franklin Pierce University (168), Southern New Hampshire University (144), and Adelphi (142).
Stonehill will enter tomorrow's action with seven current Skyhawks having competed in past Championships, including four that have been named to an All-Conference team. The Skyhawks will rely on that experience to catapult them to their ninth NE-10 cross country title.
Senior Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Massachusetts/Chelmsford) has run in two previous NE-10 Championships for Stonehill, posting an All-NE-10 third team performance as a sophomore in 2013 at the campus of Saint Anselm in Manchester, New Hampshire with a time of 26:06.0. Massey turned in a time of 27:00.4 during his freshman campaign, when the championships were held at Jamesville Beach County Park in New York. This fall, Massey has turned in a top ten performance at the Kutztown DII/III challenge, finishing seventh overall with a time of 26:29.5 and led the Skyhawks to its second highest finish ever at the New England Cross Country Championship, finishing 24th overall while clocking in at 25:17.2.
Senior Dan Gordon (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) is the most experienced Stonehill student-athlete at the NE-10 Championships, having run the event on three separate occasions and registering All-NE-10 third team performances each time. Gordon had his best showing sophomore year when he crossed the finish line in 16th place (26:15.0), narrowly missing second team All-NE-10 honors.
Junior Tyler Henseler (Coventry, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken) and classmate Joe Santo (Newburyport, Massachusetts/Newburyport) are poised to have a big impact at Sunday's event. Henseler paced the returning Skyhawks at last year's NE-10 Championships, earning second team All-NE-10 honors with a time of 28:29.4, good for 11th place. Santo finished directly after, earning a time of 28:32.6 (12th). Santo has a top five finish under his belt this fall, coming in fifth at the Kutztown DII/III challenge, clocking in at 26:23.6.
The final two student-athletes on Stonehill's roster with past NE-10 Championship experience are juniors Adam Rego (Rumford, Rhode Island/La Salle Academy) and Antonio Xelhua (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington). Rego had his best finish as a freshman, finishing 25th (26:29.0) at the 2013 meet at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, while Xelhua finished 36th, clocking in at 29:27.7 at last years championships.
Other Skyhawks that could make an impact on Sunday include freshmen Lawrence Carney (Lowell, Massachusetts/Lowell), Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Mass. / Pentucket Regional) and Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial). Dowd opened his season with a sixth place finish at the Shacklette Invitational, and followed that up with a 16th place performance the following weekend at the Division II/Division III Challenge. Carney came in ninth at the Shacklette Invitaitonal (27:07) and finished in the Skyhawks top five at the New England Championships (25:48.3) while Demeule finished within the Skyhawks top seven.
Following this Sunday's NE-10 Championship, the Skyhawks will be off for a week before attempting to win their fourth East Region Championship on Sunday, November 8th at Hopkinton State Fairgrounds in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. This will be the second time this season the Skyhawks have raced at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds, placing sixth at the Bruce Kirsh Cross Country Cup.