Men's and women's cross country both place third as host of Vermont state meet

Men's and women's cross country both place third as host of Vermont state meet

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams both placed third among nine schools while hosting the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship on Friday for the first time since 2011.

The Purple Knight women totaled 78 points to edge Castleton University by eight, and the men notched 87 points to trim the Spartans by seven, as the College held a cross country meet on its grounds for the third time in two years. Middlebury College won both meets, with 18 points on the men's side and 26 on the women's. The Panther men and women have both won seven of the last eight titles, with the lone non-victorious season coming when they skipped the 2013 championship. Their women are ranked eighth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III national poll, while the men are seventh in the New England rankings.

Five Saint Michael's women were among the top 25, with first-year Abby French (Nashua, N.H./Academy of Notre Dame) placing third in a time of 24:17 during her first collegiate 6K. It was her third top-seven finish in as many career races. Junior Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) nabbed 17th at 25:46.

Senior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) was 19th in 26:02 to edge out classmate Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax), who claimed 20th with a time of 26:07. Snyder set a 6K PR by 2:56 in her first career race on the Saint Michael's campus. Rounding out the team's top five was sophomore Emily Kopacz (Windsor, Conn./Windsor), in 25th at 26:25. Classmate Riley Mitiguy (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) took 29th in 26:40 during her first collegiate 6K, and senior Katrina Wiesner (Bow, N.H./Bow) set a PR by 1:17, finishing 30th at 26:40.

First-year Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) paced the Purple Knight men by claiming 11th place in the 8K with a PR of 26:50, and senior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) took 15th in 27:29. Classmate Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) was 25th at 28:29, and sophomore David Baird (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) trailed by just one position in a time of 28:37.

Sophomore Matthew Logue (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) placed 34th at 29:22.8 to edge out first-year Tim DeCosta (Barnstable, Mass./Barnstable) for their team's fifth scoring spot by 1.1 seconds, as DeCosta crossed the finish line in 29:23.9. Senior Cody Boissoneault (Saint Albans, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) was 38th by clocking in at 29:54, the second-best 8K time of his career, and the best since his rookie season of 2013. Each of the Purple Knights' top seven finishers had season-best performances on Friday.

Both Purple Knight teams are back in action next Saturday for the James Earley Invitational at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. The women begin at 11 a.m. and the men follow an hour later.