WILLISTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams opened their seasons on Sunday in the University of Vermont Invitational at Catamount Outdoor Family Center, with the men opposing one nationally-ranked Division I squad and the women running with two Division I teams that are regionally ranked.
Each Purple Knight team was third out of three schools with 85 points. Columbia University, which is ranked 27th nationally and third in the Northeast Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), won the 8K men's race with 15 points. Columbia's women, who are receiving a national vote and sit eighth in the regional poll, won the 5K meet with 20 points. Vermont's women are also regionally ranked, standing 13th.
Senior Colin Delaney (Lake Placid, N.Y./National Sports Academy) was the first Purple Knight to cross the finish line, clocking in at 28:42 to beat out a pair of Catamounts. In his first college race, sophomore Peter McKenna (Cohasset, Mass./Brooks School) was second for Saint Michael's at 29:58. Classmate Erik Hoiseth (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) and juniors Dana Glubiak (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Gilmour Academy) and Steve Weng (Princeton, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro North) were the next three runners from their squad to complete the race.
Sophomore Chloe Boutelle (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) took 19th out of 47 women's runners, clocking in at 19:17, finishing before 10 Division I harriers. Classmate Colleen Gilliatt (Grantham, N.H./Lebanon) finished in 20:25, and sophomore Lindy Heffernan (Sutton Mills, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) also broke the 21-minute barrier, at 20:53. Senior Jennifer Labrenz (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) was 16 seconds behind, with first-year Elizabeth Cubberley (Acworth, N.H./Fall Mountain Regional) 17 ticks behind Labrenz to claim the fifth slot.
The Purple Knights remain in-state on Saturday when they head to Middlebury College for the Aldrich Invitational. The gun for the women's race sounds at 1 p.m., and the men begin at 1:45 p.m.