Preview: Men’s Cross Country Favored to Capture Ninth NE10 Championship

Skyhawks aim to repeat last year's performance with six All-Conference honors

Northeast-10 Pre-Championship Coaches' Poll

Northeast-10 Championship Map

Taxter is one of three Skyhawks toeing the line with two All-Conference recognitions under his belt

EASTON, Mass. (November 2, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked first in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) East Region Poll seeks its ninth Northeast-10 Conference Championship this Sunday, November 2 at Hopkinton State Fairgrounds in, hosted by Franklin Pierce University. The men's event will start at 11:00 a.m., while the women kick off at 12:15 p.m.

Stonehill was picked to finish first in the NE10 pre-championship coaches' poll with a total of 188 points. The Skyhawks, who have won the Championship last year, have also recorded seven runner-up marks, received eight first-place votes. American International College (182 points) was selected to finish second with four first-place tallies, as Southern Connecticut State University (166 points) was voted to finish third with three first-place votes. Southern New Hampshire University (156 points) and Merrimack College (141 points) rounded out the top five teams.

Bentley University leads the Conference with 13 titles, as the Skyhawks follow with eight and Springfield College and UMass Lowell have collected six apiece. From 2002-13, Stonehill and UMass Lowell switched off capturing the title, except in 2007 when both teams were co-champions.   

This year, the men have recorded one runner-up mark at the Kutztown Division II/III Challenge in mid-September and three fourth-place finishes at the Shawn M. Nassaney Invitational, the New England Championships and the Sixth Annual Bruce Kirsh Cross Country Cup.

Senior Lucas Taxter has led the way for the Skyhawks as he has finished second at the Division II/III Challenge and third at the New England Championships, his best mark in the race. His best eight-kilometer race occurred at Franklin Park, clocking in a time of 25:00.2, for his first-career cross country All-New England honor. The senior has appeared in two other NE10 Championships and was named twice to All-Conference teams, with his best mark of seventh in 2016 with a time of 25:36.3.

Classmate Alexander Demeule has three NE10 Championships under his belt, with two All-Conference nods. This season, Demeule has seen four top 20 marks with his best time at the New England Championships with a time of 25:23.9, good for 14th and his first cross country All-New England Honor.

Demeule is also one of three Skyhawks with two NE10 All-Conference honors

Classmate Riley Dowd has also run in three NE10 Championships over his career with two All-Conference recognitions. This season, the senior has posted two top-25 marks, with his best at the Division II/III Challenge, finishing 11th.

Senior Lawrence Carney earned his first NE10 All-Conference award in his second NE10 Championship appearance last year, as classmate Christopher Drace will make his fourth-career appearance with a career-best 25th-place finish last year. Sophomore Kevin Wheelock will be making his second appearance at the NE10 Championships, where last year he finished 18th for his first NE10 All-Conference honor. This season he placed fifth at the Division II/III Challenge and 24th at the Bruce Kirsh Cup.

Jeff Pichie has recorded two top-25 marks this season with his best at the Division II/III Challenge where he plaved eighth. The sophomore will appear in his second NE10 Championship, where he posted a 31st-place mark last season with a time of 26:20.6.

Four freshmen, including Shane Braz, Christopher Kelly, Evan Kennedy, and Nickolas McNamee will all be making their first-collegiate appearances at the Championships. McNamee was named NE10 Rookie of the Week in early September for his sixth-place finish at the Shawn M. Nassaney Invitational in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Following this Sunday's NE10 Championship, the Skyhawks will be off for a week before attempting to win their fifth East Region Championship. The race takes place on Saturday, November 17th at Bethpage State Park in Bethpage, New York, hosted by Adelphi University.

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