Courtesy: America East Communications

2016 Cross Country Champions to be Crowned Saturday; Watch on AE.TV

Release: 10/28/2016
KINGSVILLE, Md. - The first America East champions of the 2016-17 season will be crowned Saturday as UMBC hosts the conference's Cross Country Championship, kicking off a four-week stretch during which six teams will win conference titles.

Jerusalem Mills Park in Kingsville, Md. will be the site of Saturday's championship, which will be streamed live on AmericaEast.TV starting at 9:50 a.m. The 8K men’s race will begin at 10 a.m. followed by the women's 5K race at 11 a.m. Jon Versteeg and Roy Jones will call the action, conduct interviews and have coverage of the post-race awards ceremony.

New Hampshire women and UMass Lowell men will be looking to defend their 2015 titles. The Wildcats, who are ranked ninth in the USTFCCCA Regional Poll, are aiming for their fourth-straight championship while the River Hawks, who captured their first America East title in any sport at this event last year, are trying to become the first repeat champion on the men's side since UNH accomplished the feat in 2008.

In addition to the Wildcats, four other women's programs are regionally ranked with UMBC, which will be led by returning All-Conference performer Sophie Cologer, 15th in the Mid-Atlantic and UMass Lowell (10th), Stony Brook (14th) and Vermont (15th) slotted in the Northeast. The River Hawks are seeking their first America East title after a fourth-place finish last year while the Seawolves will look to continue its string of 14-consecutive top-three finishes. Vermont has been third three of the last four years and aims for its first league crown since 1989. 

The Wildcats have the top contender for the women's individual title in Elinor Purrier. She was fifth at the NCAA Pre-Championship meet earlier this month. 

On the men's side, Maine and Stony Brook are among teams hoping to topple the River Hawks. The Black Bears are ranked 13th in the USTFCCCA Northeast Region Poll while the Seawolves are 14th. Maine was fourth a year ago, its best finish since 2011, while Stony Brook's second-place showing was its best since winning the championship 2012.

Maine's Jesse Orach enters as one of the individual favorites on the men's side after a seventh-place finish last year. He took home a conference-high five America East Performer of the Week honors this season.

Links to the live stream, course maps and more can be found at Championship Central. Also, follow America East on Twitter, Instagram, FaceBook and SnapChat for in-depth championship coverage.