Nine Purple Knights among top 25, cross country squads both take third at state meet

Nine Purple Knights among top 25, cross country squads both take third at state meet

JOHNSON, Vt. - Nine Saint Michael's College cross country runners placed among the top 25 in their races at the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship on Saturday, as each the men's and women's squads took third among eight institutions at Johnson State College. Both were competing in their third consecutive race in the state of Vermont.

The Purple Knight women tallied 71 points to trail Norwich University for second place by just three, while the men totaled 88 points to edge out fourth-place Lyndon State College by three. Middlebury College's squads, which are both ranked nationally in Division III by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), won each meet, with the fifth-ranked women claiming the minimum 15 points and the 33rd-ranked men totaling 21.

First-year Emily Calder (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) led the Saint Michael's women during the 5K with a time of 21:51, good for 10th place. Junior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) was one spot back, at 22:00. First-year Emily Kopacz (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) placed 17th in 22:27, senior Brianna McKinley (Moultonborough, N.H./Moultonborough Academy) took 18th at 22:37, and sophomore Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) rounded out her team's top five in 25th, crossing the finish line in 23:15.

For the third straight race, junior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) paced the Purple Knights during his first year of college running, completing the 8K course at 27:30 to take 10th. Classmate Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) notched a 12th-place finish at 27:42, and first-year David Baird (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) was 17th in 27:51. Classmate Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) took 24th at 28:27, and sophomore Mike Boyd (Islip, N.Y./Islip) finished 31st in 28:57.

Both teams take next weekend off before returning to competition on Oct. 17 at the University of Albany Invitational. The women's race starts at 11:45 a.m., 45 minutes prior to the men.