Cross country squads conclude fall at NCAA East Regional Championship, men top 15 again

Cross country squads conclude fall at NCAA East Regional Championship, men top 15 again

CONTOOCOOK, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams completed their seasons on Saturday with the NCAA East Regional Championship at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds. The men were 14th out of 28 teams, posting their second straight top-15 showing, while the women placed 17th among 30 schools.

On the men's side, the Purple Knights totaled 418 points, and bested 17th-place The College of Saint Rose (460) and 19th-place Southern Connecticut State University (483) after trailing both at the Northeast-10 Conference Championship two weeks ago. Saint Michael's was 13th in 2015, and on Saturday finished off back-to-back top-15 finishes for the first time since 2010 and 2011. American International College, which was 14th in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll, won with 49 points.

During the 10K race, first-year Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) led the Purple and Gold by placing 53rd in 33:36, while senior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) concluded his career with a PR of 33:43 to take 60th. Classmate Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) clocked in at 35:48 during his fourth career regional meet, and sophomore David Baird (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) finished five seconds back.

Sophomore Matthew Logue (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) was his team's fifth scorer, crossing the finish line in 36:32. First-year Tim DeCosta (Barnstable, Mass./Barnstable) earned a time of 36:32, and senior Cody Putnam (Alburgh, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) closed out his career at 38:11.

The Purple Knight women moved up six spots over last year's finish and, with 435 points, were 16 short of 16th-place Franklin Pierce University. Stonehill College, which is ranked 13th nationally, won with 48 points.

Three Saint Michael's harrier earned PRs, while two others were close. First-year Abby French (Nashua, N.H./Academy of Notre Dame) capped a rookie season that saw her take the team's top spot at all six races by crossing the finish line in 36th place for the 6K at 23:17, just three seconds shy of a personal best. Senior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) placed 90th in 24:30, and classmate Alison Bourgeois (Georgia, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) took 97th in 24:42, topping her PR by 34 seconds. Bourgeois' prior best had come at the 2013 regional meet.

Sophomore Emily Kopacz (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) trimmed 25 seconds off her PR with a time of 24:57, and classmate Riley Mitiguy (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) finished her first year of college running at 25:11, also a career best. Junior Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) was five seconds short of a PR by notching a time of 25:24, and senior Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) was at 26:23.