#22 Stonehill Gearing Up For East Regionals

Junior Stephen Leonard was Stonehill's top finisher at the NE-10 Championship, placing seventh overall in 25:48.

Skyhawks aiming for 11th consecutive trip to NCAA DII Championships

EASTON, Mass. (November 8, 2013) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked 22nd in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II poll, and ranked first in the East Region, will look to punch its 11th straight ticket to the NCAA DII National Championship this Sunday at the East Regionals in Boston, Mass.

Stonehill, which is hosting this Sunday's meet, won the Northeast-10 Championship two weekends ago in Manchester, N.H. with a 57 point effort. In doing so, the Skyhawks jumped Franklin Pierce University and American International College in the East Region Rankings and regained the top spot. Stonehill's NE-10 Championship victory was its third straight and eighth in program history.

Five student-athletes earned a spot on the NE-10 All-Conference team, and head coach Karen Boen earned her fifth men's Coach of the Year award following the Stonehill triumph.

Looking ahead to this Sunday's meet, Stonehill will not count on a clear-cut number one runner, but rather depth from top to bottom. Senior Stephen Leonard (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) was Stonehill's top finisher at the NE-10 Championship, placing seventh and completing the eight-kilometer course in 25:48.

Senior captain Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Geurtin) finished eighth overall and second for the Skyhawks, and he was followed by senior Scott Waller (Andover, Mass./Andover) in 13th place. Waller earned All-East Region honors in 2011 with his 13th place finish, and will be looking to replicate that performance on Sunday.

Junior Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) earned All-East Region honors last season as well, as he finished 21st in the 2012 meet at Mine Falls Park in Nashua, N.H. Zawalich placed 23rd at the NE-10 Championship two weekends ago, clocking in at 26:21.

Stonehill will also look to sophomore Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) to help carry the load on Sunday. Massey earned third team All-NE-10 accolades with his 15th place finish at the NE-10 Championship.

With a top-3 finish on Sunday, Stonehill would advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships in Spokane, Washington. For the second time in three years, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference will serve as host of the DII National Championship. The event will take place the weekend of November 21-23 at the Plantes Ferry Athletic Complex in Spokane.

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