Taxter’s All-America Run Leads No. 23 Men’s Cross Country to 21st

Taxter is now the fifth men's All-American in program history

Taxter is just the fifth men's cross country All-American in program history, with a program best 19th-place finish (PHOTO BY: Martin Santek)

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (December 1, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association East Regional Rankings and No. 23 in the National poll (USTFCCCA) competed in their 16th-straight NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships Saturday afternoon finishing 21st at the Bob O'Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park.

Grand Valley State University took home the title with 81 total points, as Colorado Mines finished 10 points behind with 99 points and Western Colorado took home third place with 117 points. From the Northeast-10 Conference, American International College finished in 20th place with 527 points, and Stonehill followed in 21st with 542 points out of the 34 teams in the competition.

Senior Lucas Taxter led the way for the Purple & White with his first cross country All-America finish and second-career All-America honor taking home 19th place out of the 261 competitors. The senior clocked in a time of 32:57.7 earning the Skyhawks 18 points towards the team finish. With Taxter's finish, he is just the fifth men's cross country All-American in program history and he took home the best finish out of the short list of greats. He is the first All-American since Stonehill Hall of Famer Keith Gill when he finished 27th in 2006 and tops David Metzger's 25th place finish in 2005.

Dowd was the second Skyhawk across the finish line with his 124th-place mark (PHOTO BY: Martin Santek)

Classmate Riley Dowd was the next Skyhawk across the finish line as he competed in his fourth NCAA Championship. Dowd clocked in a time of 34:53.1 placing 124th overall. Another senior in the mix of the top 150 was Alexander Demeule who crossed the finish line in 35:03.6 taking home 136th overall, for his best finish in his career.

Another senior, Christopher Drace competed in his second NCAA Championship and placed 167th with a time of 35:29.1. In his first NCAA Championship, sophomore Jeff Pichie clocked in a time of 35:50.9, good for 188th overall.

Freshman Nickolas McNamee and sophomore Kevin Wheelock, also competing in their first Championship, rounded out the Skyhawks' finishers. McNamee finished 232nd with a time of 36:48.5, while Wheelock took home 249th with a time of 37:26.4.

The Skyhawks wrapped up the season with the program's fourth runner-up finish at the NE10 Championship with four All-Conference honorees, its fifth NCAA Division II East Region Championship with six All-East Region recognitions, and 21st at the NCAA Division II Championships with their first All-American since 2006.

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