Santo leads the pack to give Stonehill its first title
EASTON, Mass. (September 3, 2016) – Led by three top-10 individual efforts, the Stonehill College men's cross country team opened its 2016 season by cruising to a first-place finish this morning at its own Skyhawk Preview Meet.
Stonehill, ranked third in the East Region by the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Division II Poll, placed nine of its 20 entries inside the top-20 en route to a score of 42. Fellow Northeast-10 Conference members Adelphi University (73 points) and American International College (102) finished second and third, respectively. Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference member Kutztown University (103) tallied a fourth-place mark, while Southern New Hampshire University (106), Merrimack College (125), and Assumption College (176) rounded out the final three in the seven-team field.
The Skyhawks was led by senior Joe Santo (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport), who finished third overall out of 91 entries with a time of 25:42 on the eight-kilometer course. Sophomore Lucas Taxter (Readville, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) crossed the finish with a time of 26:24 recording a seventh-place mark sprinting past senior teammate Antonio Xelhua (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) who registered a time of 26:25 earning ninth.
Junior Sam Bradford (Bedford, Mass./Bedford) followed two spots behind and just eight seconds later in 11th place (26:33). Sophomore Lawrence Carney (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) trailed Bradford clocking in a time of 26.34.
Also competing for Stonehill was, junior Kenny Vinacco (Scituate, R.I./Scituate), sophomore John Onken (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North), senior Daniel Nolan (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford), and sophomore Riley Dowd (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans Memorial). Vinacco and Onken finished back-to back with times of 26:40 and 26:42 tallying 14th and 15th place, respectively. Nolan and Dowd rounded out the top-20, as they recorded times of 26.52 and 26:55, good for 18th and 19th, respectively.
Stonehill will be off next weekend before returning to action on Thursday, September 16 at the National Catholic Championship, hosted by the University of Notre Dame and Saturday, September 17 at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational.
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