Stonehill Looking For Third Straight NE-10 Championship

Senior Stephen Leonard will look to improve on his 23rd place finish at last year's NE-10 Championship.

Skyhawks ranked third in East Region

EASTON, Mass. (October 23, 2013) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, receiving votes in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II poll, and ranked third in the East Region, will attempt to earn its third consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Championship this Sunday in Manchester, N.H., on the campus of host school Saint Anselm College. The men's race starts at 10 a.m., with the women's championship to follow at 11 a.m.      

Stonehill enters this weekend's race as the Northeast-10 coaches favorite to capture the conference title, despite the fact that the Skyhawks were passed by both Franklin Pierce University and American International College in the latest East Region poll.

Without a clear-cut number one runner, Stonehill will look to a group of upperclassmen to try to deliver the program's eighth conference championship since 2002.

Senior captain Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin), a 2011 NE-10 All-Conference Third Team selection as a sophomore, finished 100th in his most recent competition, at the New England Championships on October 12th, clocking it at 26:02.

Senior Stephen Leonard (Chatham, N.J./Chatham), who finished 23rd at last year's conference championship, has had a solid senior season for Stonehill, finishing 17th (26:17.1) at the Division II Challenge, and 114th (26:14) at the New England Championships.

Junior Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) opened his 2013 season with a 19th place showing at the Division II Challenge, and followed that up by finishing 59th overall (25:41) and first among Stonehill participants at the New England Championships.

Junior captain Bryan Wilcox (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) finished eighth overall (and first among Skyhawks) at last year's NE-10 Championship, clocking in at 25:50.8. Wilcox earned Second Team All-Conference accolades in 2012, and ran to a 35th place finish at the Division II Challenge on September 25th in his first race of the 2013 season, doing so in 26:48.

Junior Daniel Gordon (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North), who earned NE-10 All-Conference Third Team honors as both a freshman and sophomore, will also look to make an impact this weekend.

Stonehill has several promising underclassmen, as well, led by sophomore Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford). Massey has worked his way into Stonehill's top seven throughout the course of this season, beginning with his 12th place finish at the Shacklette Invitational on September 7th. He followed that performance up with a 49th place finish at the DII Challenge (27:07.3) and a 102nd (26:03) place finish at the New England Championships.

Stonehill has competed in four races this season, with its best results coming in the Shacklette Invitational (first place) and the 45th Annual Codfish Bowl (second place) on September 28th.

Following Sunday's Northeast-10 Conference Championship, Stonehill returns to action on November 10th at the NCAA Division II East Regional Championships, held at Franklin Park and hosted by Stonehill.

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