#24 Men's Cross Country Gearing Up For 13th Straight NCAA Championship Appearance

Senior Rob Massey will be one of four Skyhawks with NCAA Championship experience on Saturday.

Skyhawks coming off third place finish at East Region Championship on November 8th

EASTON, Mass. (November 19, 2015) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked 24th in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II poll, and ranked second in the East Region, will compete in its 13th consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship this Saturday in Joplin, Missouri, hosted by Missouri Southern State University, at 12:15 p.m. (EST).

The NCAA Championships will be webcast live via ncaa.com, with links to the webcast as well as live results also available through stonehillskyhawks.com.

Stonehill, which has competed in every NCAA Championship dating back to 2003, is coming off a runners-up finish at the Northeast-10 Conference Championship on October 25th on the campus of Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. The Skyhawks then recorded a third place finish at the East Region Championship two weekends later at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds in Hopkinton, New Hampshire.

Four Skyhawks on the current roster have past NCAA Championship experience and all four are expected to compete on Saturday. Senior Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Massachusetts/Chelmsford), who was Stonehill's top finisher at both the NE-10 and East Region Championships, competed at the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship and finished 163rd with a time of 33:04.4.

Classmate Dan Gordon (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) is Stonehill's most accomplished runner at the national level, having competed in three NCAA championships. Gordon ran has a freshman in 2011 at the Plantes Ferry Regional Park and finished 124th overall, clocking in 34:18.4. The Plymouth, Mass. native competed again a year later when Stonehill finished 30th overall at Missouri Southern State University in 2012. At last year's championship, Gordon completed the course in 33:17.6, good for 170th place.

Making their second career NCAA Championship appearances on Saturday will be juniors Joe Santo (Newburyport, Massachusetts/Newburyport) and Tyler Henseler (Coventry, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken). Both Santo and Henseler made their NCAA debuts at last year's race, which was held at the E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Santo finished 192nd and clocked in at 33:51.8, while Henseler turned in a time of 33:58.9, good for 195th overall.

Junior Antonio Xelhua (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington), and freshmen Lawrence Carney (Lowell, Massachusetts/Lowell) and Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial) will be making their NCAA debut on Saturday. Xelhua was recognized with All-Region honors at the East Regional Championships two weeks ago, finishing in 18th place. Santo is a two time All-NE-10 second team performer, most recently completing the race in 10th place.

Stonehill registered its highest NCAA Championship finish in program history in 2006, when the Skyhawks raced to tenth place among 24 teams at the Escambia County Equestrian Center in Pensacola, Florida.

Individually, Stonehill has had four All-Americans in program history with Keith Gill '08, being the latest, placing 27th overall in 2006. David Metzger, '08, owns the best finish ever for a Stonehill student-athlete at the national level, as he placed 24th overall as a sophomore in 2005 at the NCAA Championship at Prado Park in Pomona, California.

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