CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Binghamton University graduate student Chris Gaube (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) and Boston University graduate student Andrea Walkonen (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant) take home the first America East male and female cross country Performer of the Week awards of the 2009 season for the week ending in Sept. 13.
Gaube won the men's individual title at Binghamton's home invitational on Saturday, Sept. 12 and led his team to a second-place finish. He ran the 8,000-meter course in a time of 25:48, posting the fourth-fastest time on the Binghamton course since the program entered the NCAA Division I level in 2001. Gaube's victory came against a Columbia squad that placed third at last year's NCAA Northeast Regional Championship.
After a 2008 season in which she captured the America East individual title, Walkonen is off to a good start to the 2009 season with a win at the season-opening America East Pre-Championship on Sunday, Sept. 13. Walkonen completed the 5,000-meter course in 17:50.68, 35 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. She led the Terrier women to a first-place team finish at the Pre-Championship in Burlington.
Three of the men's cross country squads received regional rankings in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll - New Hampshire (ranked 11), Stony Brook (13), and Binghamton (14). Four of the women's squads also garnered regional rankings - Stony Brook (ranked 4), Boston University (9), New Hampshire (10), and Vermont (15).
Albany - The Great Danes competed on Sunday, Sept. 13 at the America East Pre-Championship meet where, led by its young talent, the men's and women's teams secured fifth out of six teams. Leading the squads were freshman Alex Leuchanka (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) and sophomore Ada Lauterbach (East Berne, N.Y./Berne-Knox-Westerlo) who each placed in the top-10. Leuchanka took first at the men's first race, the Monmouth meet, on Sept. 5, winning his first collegiate race, and then claimed fifth this past weekend. Lauterbach placed first at Monmouth and followed her win with a ninth-place finish on Sunday leading the youngest women's squad in the six-team field.
Binghamton - Both the Binghamton men's and women's cross country squads started their seasons off with a second-place finish out of four competing teams at their home invitational on Saturday. Graduate student Chris Gaube led the men's squad winning the men's individual title over a Columbia squad that placed third at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships last year. Gaube recorded the fourth-fastest time on the Binghamton course since the program became NCAA Division I in 2001. Freshman Jeff Martinez (Binghamton, N.Y./Johnson City) joined Gaube in the top-10 finishing sixth in his first race for Binghamton. The women's squad was led by its top finisher freshman Rachel Miura, who placed 14th in her first race with the Bearcats.
Boston U. - The Boston U. cross country teams claimed both the men's and women's individual titles at their season-opening America East Pre-Championship race on Sunday. Junior captain Eric Ashe (Hanson, Mass./Whitman-Hanson) took the men's title while graduate student Andrea Walkonen ran away with the women's race. The Boston U. women's squad won the meet with three women placing in the top-10. Sophomore Katie Matthews (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) finished seventh, and senior Sarah Mosser (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora) finished 10th. The men's squad came in third in the six-team meet and also placed two runners along with Ashe in the top-10 - seventh-place finisher junior Craig MacPherson (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) and eighth-place finisher sophomore Peter Gilmore (Hanson, Mass./Whitman Hanson).
Hartford - The Hawks kicked off the men's and women's cross country season at the Trinity Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 12 where the squads posted two fifth-place overall finishes out of a nine-team field. Junior Jonas Hampton (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) led the men's squad on Saturday and was Hartford's sole top-10 finisher claiming ninth place. Sophomore Andrew Chalmers (Ashland, N.H./Plymouth Regional) finished in 13th place only nine seconds after Hampton. Finishing first for the women was senior Ariana Bass (Penacook, N.H./Concord High) who placed 14th overall. Freshman Kayla Koonz, in her first race for Hartford, was the second Hawk to finish for the women.
Maine - The Maine cross country team competed at the America East Pre-Championship race on Sunday where the women's squad took third and the men came in fourth out of six competing teams. Sophomore Corey Conner (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex Regional) led the Black Bear women finishing in second place while teammate senior Jordan Daniel (Corinna, Maine/Mt. Blue) also claimed a spot in the top-10 with a sixth-place finish. Junior Allison Conner (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex Regional) crossed the finish line third for Maine earning 11th place. Sophomore Riley Masters (Bangor, Maine/Bangor) led the men's team with a fourth-place finish.
New Hampshire - The Wildcats' men's squad posted a victory at the America East Pre-Championship meet at the University of Vermont while the women's team claimed fourth place overall. After losing their first race of the season to Providence on Sept. 6, the UNH men rebounded this past weekend winning the Pre-Championship race led by senior Josh Kearns (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield), who finished third. Three other Wildcat runners finished in the top-10 of the men's competition - senior Wesley Dinnan (Juneau, Alaska/Juneau-Douglas), who placed sixth, freshman Cory Sinotte, who placed ninth, and graduate student Ben Jenkins (Francestown, N.H./Conval) who placed 10th. Sophomore Keely Maguire (Georgetown, Mass./Triton Regional) led the women racing to a fourth-place finish.
Stony Brook - At their season-opening home invitational on Saturday, Sept. 5, Stony Brook took home both individual titles and its men's and women's squads finished second and first overall, respectively. Senior Laura Huet (Wellington, New Zealand/Loreto College Foxrock) claimed the women's title and senior Daire Bermingham (Portmarnock, Ireland/Sutton Park) won the men's race. The Seawolves women claimed three other spots in the top five. Junior Carolina Cortes (Woodmere, N.Y./Valley Stream South), sophomore Kristal Conklin (Middletown, N.Y./Valley Stream Central), and junior Lisa Voltaire (Stockholm, Sweden/Lopargymnasiet) finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Sophomore Gerard Harley (Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) posted a second top-10 finish for the men placing fourth overall.
UMBC - The Retrievers opened their season at the Mount St. Mary's Dual 5K's on Sept. 4 where the women's squad came in second and the men's finished fourth. On Saturday Sept. 12, the UMBC women posted a fourth-place finish in the Salty Dog Invitational, and the men claimed a sixth-place finish in the Navy Invitational. The women had two runners finish in the top-10 at the Salty Dog Invitational. Senior Sara Parkinson (Lancashire, England/Loughborough University) and senior Suzanne Gabriel (Falls Church, Va./MacLean) placed sixth and ninth, respectively. The two seniors also placed in the top five at the Mount St. Mary's meet. Andrew Madison (Edgewater, Md./South River) was the top finisher for the men coming in 19th at the Navy Invitational.
Vermont - The Catamounts kicked off their cross country season by hosting the America East Pre-Championship race where both the men's and women's squads finished second. The men were led by senior Doug Maisey (Gwynedd Valley, Pa./ Wissahickon) who finished second only six seconds behind first-place finisher Boston U.'s Ashe. The men's four other top finishers claimed spots in the top-20. Sophomore Morgan Powers (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hills) led the women finishing third while two other Catamounts women finished in the top-10. Freshman Debbie Isen (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) and senior Aly Millett (Half Moon Bay, Calif./Half Moon Bay) placed fifth and eighth, respectively.