RINDGE, N.H. - All four senior captains earned all-conference status on Sunday, lifting the Saint Michael's College women's cross country team to second place among 15 schools at the Northeast-10 Conference Championship for the second consecutive season in a meet held at Franklin Pierce University. The men claimed 11th of 15 during the meet.
The Purple Knight women, who were sixth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) East Region poll, totaled 64 points, their lowest at a league meet since joining the NE-10 in 1987. The last time they placed among the top two at consecutive league championships was upon winning the 1985 and 1986 Mideast Collegiate Conference (MECC) Championships. Stonehill, which is ranked 24th nationally, won its sixth straight title behind 45 points. On the men's side, Saint Michael's totaled 330 points to edge out 12th-place Le Moyne College (341). No. 18 American International College won the team crown with 19 points.
For the first time since joining the NE-10, Purple Knights had three women claim all-conference first team finishes, with only the 1985 and 1986 teams having previously turned the feat. The Purple and Gold saw four women earn NE-10 All-Conference for the first time, with the 1985 and 1986 squads the most recent teams to land four all-league finishers. The Purple Knights' three all-conference first teamers matched the program's total from the past 13 NE-10 Championships. The meet's top seven finishers land on the first team, the next seven are second team, and 15th through 21st are third team.
With the women running a 6K for the first time at an NE-10 Championship, senior Chloe Boutelle (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) placed third out of 141 runners in 25:20 to join Saint Michael's Athletic Hall of Fame member Kerri D'Arrigo '89 as the lone four-time all-league finishers in program history. Boutelle qualified for the first team for the third time while becoming the first Purple Knight in the NE-10 era to be all-conference four times, with D'Arrigo claiming the feat twice in the MECC and twice in the NE-10. Senior Lindy Heffernan (Sutton Mills, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) was sixth in 25:34 to edge out classmate Colleen Gilliatt (Grantham, N.H./Lebanon), who placed seventh at 25:36. Both were all-league for the second straight year after Heffernan was second team in 2013 and Gilliatt third.
Senior Allie Gratton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) rounded out the all-conference quartet by taking 21st - the last all-league spot - thanks to a time of 26:39.5, as she edged the 22nd-place runner by 1.4 seconds. It was her first all-conference laurel. Junior Elizabeth Cubberley (Acworth, N.H./Fall Mountain Regional) came within 34 seconds of being all-league, finishing 30th at 27:13 to improve 76 spots over her prior personal-best finish at NE-10s, shaving 1:47 off of her time at the same course on Oct. 18. In her first league meet, sophomore Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) was 77th in 28:58, and classmate Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) nabbed 80th at 29:02.
For the second straight year, a Purple Knight male had the best showing at the league championship since Thomas Lichtenberger '07 took 17th in 2006, as senior Alex Gilgore (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville Senior) posted a career-best 44th-place finish by crossing the finish line in 29:46 during the 8K. Classmate Peter McKenna (Cohasset, Mass./The Brooks School) was not far behind, taking 59th at 30:05 to cut 1:40 off of his time at the same course from the team's Oct. 18 meet. Sophomore Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) had a career-best 84th-place showing in 31:08.
First-year Mike Boyd (Islip, N.Y./Islip) was his team's fourth finisher, trimming 1:57 from the last meet at Franklin Pierce to take 107th in 32:12, while sophomore Tyler Colbert (Byfield, Mass./Triton Regional/UMass Boston) cut 1:58 to place 115th in 32:25. Classmate Cody Putnam (Alburgh, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) was 118th at 32:33, and senior Erik Hoiseth (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) placed 119th in 32:40 to round out the Purple Knights' top seven.
Both teams take their top seven runners to the Nov. 22 NCAA East Regional Championship at Mine Falls Park in Nashua, N.H. The men's 10K begins at 1:15 p.m., followed by the women's 6K at 2:30 p.m. The top three teams qualify for the NCAA Championship, as do the top three finishers whose teams are not among the top three.
Women's Cross Country NE-10 All-Conference First Team (courtesy of NE-10)