No. 16 Men’s Cross Country Finishes 16th at Nationals, Best Finish Since 2006


Cross country wraps up dream season with 16th-place result


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (November 18, 2017) – In their 15th-consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, the Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked 16th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and first in the East Regional poll, placed 16th out of 32 teams Saturday morning at Angel Mounds in Evansville, Indiana.

Stonehill totaled 445 points for a 16th-place finish in the field of 32 teams, taking home its best mark since 2006 when the team tallied 10th. Adams State University combined for 44 points, topping all teams with the 2017 title, as Northeast-10 Conference foe American International College fell behind the Skyhawks with their 19th-place finish and 500 points and Merrimack College placed 32nd with 804 points.

The men saw a perfect season before competing in the NCAA Division II Championships, tallying six titles, including their ninth NE10 Championship, first New England Championship, and fourth NCAA Division II East Regional Championship

Junior Lucas Taxter (Readville, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) was the first Skyhawk to cross the finish line with a 69th-place tally in his first NCAA Championship, clocking in at 32:25.1, roughly two minutes behind the individual champion, James Ngandu from Tiffin University who won in 30:18.8.

Classmate and captain Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial) ran in his third Championship placing a career-best 89th in the field of 249 competitors. Dowd crossed the finish with a time of 32:38.7, where the last two years he placed 159th and 168th.


Senior captain Kenny Vinacco (Scituate, Rhode Island/Scituate) clocked in at 32:50.3, good for 100th in his first NCAA Championship appearance. Stonehill's third captain, senior Jimmy Murphy (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) recorded a career-best 108th, finishing with a time of 33:02.9, where he placed 128th last season.

Lawrence Carney (Lowell, Massachusetts/Lowell), Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Massachusetts/Melrose), and Christopher Drace (Franklin, New Jersey/Pope John XXIII) finished over an 11 second spread. Carney competed in his second championship and recorded a 163rd-place mark with a time of 33:55.8, besting his 179th mark as a freshman. Demeule, also in his second championship clocked in at 33:59.8, good for 170th, where last year he finished 165th. Drace was the final Skyhawk across the finish, as he ran in his first NCAA Championship placing 153rd with a time of 34:06.5.

The Skyhawks wrapped up the cross country season tallying the ninth NE10 Championship title, the program's first New England Championship, the fourth NCAA Division II East Regional Championship, three other team titles, and the best result at the NCAA Division II Championship since 2006.

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